Wild Horse Management Group Obtains Ownership of Wild Horse Herd
For the past seven-years, Ethologist William E. Simpson II has been living-among and studying a herd of wild (feral) horses in the wilderness on the California side of the Oregon-California border.
Simpson is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the ‘Wild Horse Fire Brigade LLC’, a wild horse advocacy and management group that has recently been granted the ownership, as well as management authority, over the local herd of wild (feral) horses by the Siskiyou County Agricultural Commissioner. In its formal letter to Mr. Simpson, the County Agricultural Commissioner recognizes the work that Mr. Simpson has done over the past many years in the oversight, care and study of the local wild (feral) horses.
Simpson has been studying the local wild horses using an observational method he calls the ‘Goodall Method’ in honor of Dr. Jane Goodall, who pioneered the paradigm of close-observational study as an embedded human observer during her 1960’s study of the apes in Gombe Africa.
“The ‘Goodall Method’ allows for the best way to actually see and understand even the smallest details of the nuanced behaviors of wild horses and their interactions within their home-range ecosystems,” said Simpson.
In 2014, Simpson took up residence on the edge of the Soda Mountain Wilderness area, part of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, and began studying the local wild horses. These local wild horses were considered ‘feral’ by local authorities and are not part of any Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wild horse herd or part of a recognized Horse Management Area (HMA).
According to documented history compiled by Simpson, this herd of wild (feral) horses descends from re-introduced Spanish horses, released horses from failed ranches during the late 1800s through the 1950’s and the descendants of wild horses observed by Sir Francis Drake during his exploration of the pacific coast of northern California and southwestern Oregon in 1580.
William has extensive documentation about the wild (feral) horses and their ability to assist with mitigating wildfires by rewilding horses into critical wilderness areas. It was this data, which can be examined at WildHorseFireBrigade.org, that moved Simpson to create the Wild Horse Fire Brigade. Interviews can be arranged through Media@WildHorseFireBrigade.org.
Below are photos of our herd taken by Michelle Gough.