I have been receiving questions regarding the Herd Watch project.
Many of them are duplicate questions so I am going to combine them and respond in this post. I hope it helps.
I am currently in the field and creating necessary documents for this project.
If one volunteers, how much time would be involved?
We send out an application where volunteers list skill sets.
Information provided to us in the applications will be verified.
Volunteers can let us know how much time they can give to the project (assignments have differing levels of involvement).
This gives us the info we need for appropriate placement.
How will areas be chosen?
Areas are given priority based on current policy.
All areas will be included within the data base that contain (or have contained) equid populations.
The word “area” implies BLM. Just a reminder, herds exist in many jurisdictions.
How often would a person go to the herd area?
It depends on each Team and need.
Many areas have larger teams so visits can be divided up among members.
Are permits needed, if so who secures them?
Permits are usually only required on public land when individuals decide to camp there.
If individuals decide they want to spend more than a day on public land they will have been provided with all the contact info ahead of time (as well as notified the Team leader of their plans to stay).
If the individual is collecting data at a holding facility (for example) that requires an appointment, it is the responsibility of the volunteer to make the appointment as a private citizen.
Herd watch is a volunteer effort where individuals participate by providing information they gain as individual citizens through observation.
This is NOT a protest.
What kind of training will be provided?
It depends on the duty requirement.
Data entry and file management are a large part of this project.
Manuals and conference calls (or on site if required) will be provided as needed for each specific task.
Will “pro’s” be included to gain credibility with the BLM?
Horses and burros don’t only exist on BLM land.
The integrity of the database is not limited to gaining credibility with a single branch of the Department of Interior.
The integrity of the database is the first concern of Herd Watch. All protocol is designed with this in mind.
Can my teenagers participate?
There will be many opportunities geared specifically for teens and projects for younger children. Those opportunities currently do not include collecting field data.
If you want your teen to accompany you as you collect data you will be required to fill out the same contract of conduct and liability forms you fill out for yourself. As a parent you are responsible for the conduct of yourself and your children in any effort you participate in. Most volunteer opportunities, including those at your local animal shelter, have the same requirements as Herd Watch.
You may be advised that a specific assignment is not appropriate for teens.
Will the database be available for public use?
The database will contain information that will be made available to the public through a website that is under construction.
The website will contain general information as well as any areas that require public response. The database will host an archived section of historical data and a synopsis of current information.
The database itself will be made available for research specific projects (education) that may require data review through a case by case application.
In college I assisted a biology teacher in a research project. Is that what this will be like?
In many respects that is exactly what this project will resemble.
A Team Leader that has a background in the discipline required to complete the specifications of each project will be assigned. Each participant will operate much like an “intern.”
If I can’t participate but want to support the project through a donation can I send you money or equipment?
The only place to donate for Herd Watch is through the Cloud Foundation website. HERE.
If you would like to donate computers, cameras, gas cards, gift cards, vehicles, etc. please call Makendra at The Cloud Foundation, 719-633-3842 to make specific arrangements.
Read About Herd Watch and it’s mission at The Cloud Foundation.
I thank you all for the interest in this project.