An Open Letter to Those Seeking to Develop their own Grass-Roots Wildlife Advocacy Non-Profit Organization:
Friends of a Legacy (FOAL) is a grass roots wild horse advocacy group in northwestern Wyoming with a mission to preserve and protect the wild horses of the McCullough Peaks Wild Horse Herd Management Area (HMA) managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The following is a bit of the history of FOAL’s formation, growth, and successes which we hope will aid others in their quest to help wild horses.
- A Brief History of FOAL
- Developing Projects with Attainable Goals
- Fundraising Efforts
- Identifying Potential Partners
- Our Talented Board Members
- Additional Recommendations for Success
While there is definitely a place and a need for adversarial approaches, FOAL has benefited greatly by sticking to our general philosophy of cooperation and support to gain headway toward our goals.
In theory, organizations such as ours should not be needed due to laws that are in place such as the Wild Horse and Burro Act, but in the scheme of federal budgets and politics, it has become evident that watchdogs are a necessary part of the mix. We feel our approach and support is not only effective, but appreciated by the federal agencies struggling with competing programs, and budget cuts.
Our efforts for the wild horses are not kept to those projects and programs that would only benefit the horses. They spill over to benefit all wildlife in the area and even some domestic livestock that uses the range.
The larger scope of this perspective engenders cooperation with other organizations and interests for the greater good of the whole. This is our approach, and we’re sticking to it! In closing, we wish you the best in your endeavors for good. Sincerely, The FOAL Board
In the News:
Ada Inbody Recognized by BLM
On the 24th of February, Ada Inbody was one of three recipients of a Super Star Volunteer award by Steve Dondero, District Manager for Wind River/Bighorn Basin District and Delissa Minnick, Acting Field Manager, Cody Field Office at the Cody office of BLM. The board room was packed and refreshments were served. Ada’s many hours of volunteer work for BLM are given from the heart, and while recognition is well deserved, it appears almost painful for her to endure that recognition, praise, and gratitude for all that is possible by her generosity. When presenting the award, Mr. Dondero said that he tallied up the hours Ada has volunteered since 1995 to the BLM and it is valued at over half a million dollars! Thank you for all the good work, Ada! It was wonderful to see you recognized for it by BLM, even if it did make you squirm a bit!
Controlling Invasive Plants on the HMA
FOAL played a significant role in an effort to control the spread of tamarisk (aka salt cedar) and Russian olive along Dry Creek. This effort is an important part of the Dry Creek Water Augmentation Project, a collaborative project which involves a partnership with the BLM and Marathon Oil, Inc.
FOAL and the BLM enlisted support from the Park County and Bighorn County Weed and Pest Districts. The two Weed and Pest Districts came through with a donation of time from their work crews, expertise in the application of the herbicide Element 4, and equipment.
Tamarisk and Russian olive plants in the riparian zone along approximately five miles of Dry Creek were hand sprayed with herbicide using back-pack sprayers. Over 700 acres of ground were covered by the work crews and a total of 258 hours were devoted to this project by the men and women representing Park County Weed and Pest District, Bighorn County Weed and Pest District, BLM, FOAL, and Marathon Oil Co. FOAL’s contribution amounted to 86 volunteer hours.
Tamarisk and Russian olive plants are notorious for soaking up and transpiring vast quantities of water, to the detriment of native plant species. Elimination of these two invasive species will be a huge benefit to the habitat.
Spring Into Yellowstone!
The intriguing wildlife and natural beauty of the Cody area will be celebrated during the Spring into Yellowstone festival on May 13-17. Participants may select among a wide variety of hikes, tours, lectures and workshops led by local experts. FOAL will be offering tours of the McCullough Peaks mustangs 1:30-5:30 p.m. on May 14, 15 and 16 with guides who are FOAL members and advocates for preserving and protecting the wild horses. The opening reception will feature a presentation about grizzlies, wolves, bison, wildness and Yellowstone Park by wilderness advocate Michael Leach, author of Grizzlies On My Mind. The event’s other highlights include photography, a raptor identification workshop, a black-footed ferret display, a scenic tour into Sunlight Basin, and wildlife trips into Yellowstone and along the Northfork of the Shoshone River. For more information and registration, visit the Spring into Yellowstone website.