Sadly I just read Ginger’s latest newsletter for the Cloud Foundation. Her newsletters are always beautiful, and she indeed tries so hard to be upbeat, but the sadness sometimes comes through. A few years ago the Forest Service erected indestructible fences locking the Pryor Mountain Horses from the grasses of the Custer Battlefield. Preferring the cattle graze it. This land and grass has for a very long time been life sustaining for the Pryor Herd. They need it to feed up in preparation for the fierce winter. I’ll share here a few excerpts from Ginger’s newsletter.
|Photo at Custer's Battlefield fence, From "Cloud Foundation" newsletter 7-26-16|
... “Despite the dry conditions, ranchers are unloading their cows and calves that will graze in the Custer National Forest where the horses are banned.” And “Then the big fence comes into view—the Forest Service barrier which robs the horses of their late summer grazing, forage vital for them to bulk up for the coming long winter. Please click here and sign our petition to allow the herds to access this area during the late summer/fall months.”
|At Custer's Battlefield from "Cloud Foundation newsletter 7-26-16|
The petition is backed with researched and proven facts how the grasslands of Custer’s Battlefield were indeed better served with the horses grazing on it. “Well-beaten horse trails have been present for decades indicating the historic use of FS lands by wild horses as reported by BLM employee Ron Hall in the early 1970s.” ... “It is the belief of professional range conservationists that targeted, seasonal grazing as proposed will improve wildlife habitat, expand plant diversity, and protect against a catastrophic fire in the Custer National Forest lands in the area in question. A lightening caused fire was quickly extinguished several years ago but after 5 years of no grazing there is a buildup of dead vegetation.” ... “On Page 128 Coughenour state in his Ecosystem Modeling that: “Horse condition was also slightly lower then USFS access was disallowed.” The model predicts what we are currently seeing as far as lower body scores.” ... Thank you Ginger Kathryns for you undying support for those with no voice without ours.
~ Gitty Up, Dutch.