Friday, January 26, 2007

Continued Interview HSUS NRRO

Here's the continuing interview with Sandra Merwin, AHAA artist and Dave Pauli of the HSUS.

The question Dave answered was: What are some of your best opportunities this year for HSUS NRRO?
Whew... we have more opportunities than we have months....Well.. in addition to the 2007 versions of Certified Rez Dog, Habitat for Hounds, RAVS, and an amazing first quarter legislative slate of proactive bills in all eight states. ( We have the record opportunity for Felony Cruelty, Felony Animal Fighting, Student Choice, Canned Hunting and Animal Facility Inspection Acts in many states) But it is probably best if I highlighted three NEW programs that we are trying to plan and fund for 2007.

1) The FOAL / McCullough Peaks project: June 4-10 Cody WY. This one is mostly secured but I still have a few details to secure. This is a seven day investment of staff and resource time to provide non-emergency training and vastly improve some federal and private habitats for wild horses and dozens of other species. Here's how this one is taking shape. First we got the request from a local Cody non-profit ... the Friends of a Legacy (FOAL) group that is working to build a wild horse interpretive center adjacent to the McCullough Peaks Wild Horse Management Area (MPWHMA) to help them with the planning and funding. Like most projects the discussion starts small, the needs are identified and the project take shapes. In this case FOAL was initially looking at projects like some minor fence building and property cleanup and we considered a weekend cleanup project. But after talking to the BLM wild horse specialist we found out there were dozen of potential habitat projects that they would like to do to compliment some projects that a private grazing lease holder had done last year. So we identified a large number of missions like removal of old dangerous internal fences, building new fences, building water guzzlers to provide water for wildlife and to distribute the horses across the MPHMA and some trenching, junk pile cleanup, bridge building and other projects that could be completed as a community event. Then we decided to umbrella the project as a training exercise for our regional network of animal disaster responders so that they could come to Cody and learned critical disaster response skills like implementing Incident Command Structure, serving as a Safety Officer, a Public Information Officer or a HSUS Strike Team Leader. This move allows us to provide the structure necessary to make this a profession safe and targeted training event AND wildlife habitat project. Then we add some special additions like finding a private donor to fund a Youth Conservation Corp team for the week and some special wildlife and emergency medical training and we will be having a pretty special project that is an excellent example of a private/public networking to help improve this Wyoming Wild Horse Range and to benefit our region for the next large disaster response that impacts animals. This one is the real deal and will allow us to field test our disaster volunteers, our trailers and equipment and at the end of the week to know that we have really done something to help the horses, and the other species that we will be doing habitat projects for including the bluebirds, horned toads, scorpions and prairie rattlesnakes on the MPWHMA. I have still not funded the food service, the blue bird nest box and several other components of this project if this tickles someone's fancy!!!!

Mare and Colt by Sandra Merwin was painted after talking with Dave about the FOAL program coming up in 2007.

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