January 1, 1970
The Living Waters Initiative is the most important project FOAL has yet planned in support of its mission to advocate for and protect the wild horses. We estimate, using our experience with reservoir restoration in the last few years, that the average cost per reservoir will be $12,500. Some, like Lotus, will be more and others will be less. The Initiative plans 20 major pond restorations over the next 10 years, resulting in the total campaign goal of $250,000.
FOAL has a habit of dreaming big for the wild horses, for other inhabitants of the McCullough Peaks Horse Management Area (HMA), and for the HMA itself. Ambitious? Yes, and still we are hopeful in no small part because the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which has overall responsibility for the HMA, and the ranch permittees are joining us in the Living Waters Initiative, shouldering significant parts of the work with their own personnel and equipment. The BLM, FOAL, and the permittees have agreed to annual meetings to develop and oversee a plan for the reservoir work, including restorations and maintenance, as well as work on fences and other projects in the HMA. This mutual endeavor promises a great future not only for the wild horses, but all the flora and fauna that call the McCullough Peaks home.
The promise of the Living Waters Initiative for the future of the wild horses and for the HMA is enormous, so it is understandable that the financial challenge is commensurately large. We endeavor to gather the $250,000 for the 20 reservoirs while at the same time meeting our annual operating expenses of $50,000 a year in the next five years. We have already received four grants and pledges totaling $50,000, each devoted to different reservoirs, to get us started. Better yet, the Draper Foundation, which has been at FOAL’s side from our very beginning, has offered a $50,000 challenge grant matching all cash gifts from new donors or increased gifts from past donors earmarked for the Living Waters Initiative received between May 28, 2021 and December 31, 2022.
We are making an enormous ask of all who have made FOAL the force for the wild horses that it is. Our “ask” is multi-leveled. We are asking you, first, to continue your wonderful annual giving to FOAL, which funds the fertility control program, educational and outreach efforts, the seasonal maintenance of reservoirs, our newsletters, and this year our work on the celebration of the 50-year anniversary of the Wild Horse and Burro Act. On top of that, we hope you will consider a gift to the Living Waters Initiative with the special focus on the timing of the Draper Foundation challenge. Another option is the possibility of making a multi-year pledge that will increase the power of our individual gifts and also matches the multi-year needs of the LWI mission.
Protecting the legacy of the wild horses has always been an act of the heart. The Living Waters Initiative is a large and an important call on that same spirit. We hope that you, whether a long time FOAL member or someone new to the wild horse effort, share our sense of the possibilities this endeavor will create for the wild horses and their habitat.
[Photo courtesy of Rene Lund]