In the News:
FOAL’s First Annual “Mustang Rendezvous” was a huge success!
Picture a beautiful evening – with blue skies and warm breezes, the scent of sagebrush mixed with mouth-watering barbequed ribs, lively bluegrass music playing in the background, and folks merrily chatting while gazing upon the McCullough Peaks and majestic Bridger Butte. In the distance, wild mustangs peacefully graze on range grasses. That describes FOAL’s first annual Mustang Rendezvous Fundraising event held on September 6th. It was a magical evening that also included a silent auction and short presentation about the history of FOAL. This event will become our signature fundraiser for upcoming years!
“Reach Out to the Untouched Horse” Clinic
August 2014 marked the fifth year that board member Michaele Dimock has hosted Anna Twinney’s “Reach Out to the Untouched Horse” Clinic, where wild mustangs are taught basic skills in grooming, haltering, leading and preliminary farrier prep using gentle trust-based training techniques. Amongst the six mustangs brought to the Dimock ranch for gentling were the last two McCullough Peaks horses, still residing at the Rock Springs BLM holding facility after having been gathered in the January 2013 bait-trapping.
“Tala” is a big, beautifu black 3 year old mare and daughter of “Tuff” and “Derby”. The student who worked with her, Ania Forre-Covers, fell in love with her and decided to adopt her. Tala now lives at a mountain-top ranch in Colorado.
“Willow”, a 3 year old bay mare, daughter of “Wanita” and “Flash” is still in need of a home with a BLM qualified adopter. If you are interested in giving her the loving home that she deserves, please contact Tricia Hatle, BLM Wild Horse Specialist, Cody Office 307-899-1155.
Check Out Our New Brochure!
Sue Forst worked diligently with fellow board members to create a new brochure for FOAL. It features a new map and photos of the horses currently living in the Peaks. If you would like one sent to you, please send us an email.
WWNRT (Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust) Grant Award
FOAL proposes to provide vital water sources to the McCullough Peaks area. The funding will be used to complete a 2.5 mile pipeline to fill two reservoirs, clean and line two reservoirs, drill two water wells, install a solar powered pump, three 1,800 gallon wildlife water tanks (BOSS Tanks), one sage-grouse/small mammal tank and all associated continuous panel fencing exclosures, and provide noxious weed control. Each water source will provide water to a water tank or reservoir and a small mammal/sage grouse tank with a green strip within a continuous panel exclosure. One water well will be solar powered and designed to blend in with the surrounding landscape.
Why vital water sources are needed now:
The once thought perennial water source for the McCullough Peaks, Dry Creek, has been dry during the summer months (June – October) for the last 3 years. In a Sage-Grouse Core Area, this was the main water source for the McCullough Peaks’ plant and wild life, including sage-grouse and wild horses, especially during drought years.
This water source is produced water from Marathon Oil’s Oregon Basin field. As of this year, Marathon’s oilfield production strategy will result in reduced surface water discharge volumes to 20%, or less, of historic levels. This has resulted in the need for BLM to pay for hauling water to the HMA in 2012 and 2013.
As part of the Dry Creek Watershed Augmentation MOU between Marathon Oil, BLM, & FOAL there is a need to develop additional water sources within the McCullough Peaks. This MOU was signed in March 2012 to address the reduced inflow of water put into Dry Creek by Marathon Oil Company.
Park County Pedalers – September’s Wild Horse Century Ride
Other FOAL Projects in the Works:
McCullough Peaks Dry Creek Water Augmentation Project, Phase II: FOAL has purchased the Boss Tanks for work under the WWNRT Grant for McCullough Peaks Dry Creek Water Augmentation Project, Phase II. The tanks are due to arrive on the morning of September 3.
Reservoir Repair: Board Member Ada is helping to coordinate repair work on two McCullough Peaks reservoirs, including the large cut on the reservoir on Coon Creek (below Raven). This reservoir is located in the line of the drainage of a large area, so has good potential for retaining precipitation. The second is a reservoir near mile marker 120 where the flow is currently going around the dam. There is a stud pile there, so the horses do frequent the area. FOAL funds available for habitat enhancement work are just over $2500, which will cover these two projects.
Cattle Guard: The FOAL property will soon have a new heavy-duty cattle guard at its entryway, which will eventually lead to its new Interpretive Learning Center.
Congratulations to the Idaho non-profit organization, Wild Love Preserve!
Congratulations on your collaborative agreement with the BLM to use PZP (Porcine Zona Pellucida) as a safe and effective method for controlling the Challis wild horse herd population. FOAL uses this fertility control vaccine to keep the McCullough Peaks horses healthy with a diversified gene pool, and by staying within the AML (Appropriate Management Level) set by the BLM, we hope to eliminate the need for any more helicopter gathers. We’re so happy to hear that you are also taking this approach and wish you every success!