September 2008 Report

Without the mini pastures the horses are following a more normal wild horse pattern of constantly moving, constantly foraging. Extra hoof growth, which had started to show up when the horses had to spend a lot of time in the pastures after the fire, has begun to wear away.

Despite not having mini pastures, the horses are not roaming as far as they usually do, staying in an area about one fourth the size of the entire Preserve. Growth is so rapid and lush that they are finding plenty to eat within in short distances. Over the years it's fascinating to watch the forest as a living entity with periods of drought and slow growth alternating with periods of tremendous prosperity and richness. Right now sparkling water holes are all over the Preserve.

That piece of briar vine looks awfully good to Bella, what will Nunki do?

So far, so good..

But not for long. For a video of Acamar and her daughter Alnitak browsing, click here.

We’ve begun what is going to be a huge campaign to clear invasive Brazilian Pepper trees from the Preserve. The farm, (adjacent to the Preserve) was bulldozed clear of all citrus trees when the groves were abandoned. It is filling rapidly with this almost unconquerable invasive which kills everything in its path. The trees have heavily invaded the small valley to the west of our base, we are starting the battle there. Each tree or clump of trees has to be dealt with individually. Throughout the Preserve trees are being flagged for hauling with the tractor, hand pulling for small ones, and treatment to kill which we’ll describe in later newsletters as we decide which treatment is most effective and least harmful to the surrounding environment. The tractor can only work along the logging roads so we are in for a long term process. And in fact, as long as nothing is done to curb growth on the farm we’re in the path and will be having to deal with this for the forseeable future.

It seems that the horse project has been moved from the Department of Agriculture to the new Ministry of the Environment. There has been no definitive word, we’ll report as things become more clear.


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