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  • Jill Starr


Updated: Apr 13, 2022

We have an urgent challenge to overcome. It seems like MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, but I believe it is possible with your help… We have 50 horses currently on 500 sanctuary acres of remote wilderness land adjacent to the Sequoia National Forest. They have been there for about 10 years and they have been very happy there living as wild horses. However, with the increased danger of wild fires in California it is my worry that the odds are a fire will break out in their area and we would have no ability to rescue them. They are about 11 miles from our other horse properties and up an unmaintained dirt road. Even getting up to feed them everyday is sometimes a difficult mission all of its own, particularly in the snowy winter months. Our mission is to get them off of that remote fire hazard property and somewhere else at our sanctuary that will be safer.

We have found an 80 acre property and it will be a wonderful natural habitat for them. It’s much smaller and easier to keep an eye on them. Gathering them to remove them will be easier too - if we ever need to. The new land has a lot of flat sandy acres that will act as a safety buffer zone from any fire dangers.

The re-location has many challenges. First we have to purchase the land - we will have to pay nearly $160,000 for it which will come out of our emergency reserves. Then the perimeter will need to be fenced. There is some water there but likely we will need to drill a new well to make sure we always have enough water for the horses all year around. We will try to push that expense off until later. Lastly - the road to the current property needs to be repaired so we can get a horse trailer to the horses and remove them a few at a time.

I feel this in an urgent matter because there have already been 3 fires that broke out in our zip code. Thankfully they were not close enough to panic us, and the fire dept was able to put them out quickly. But you can understand why I am nervous. I want those horses out of the forest land where the fire danger is much higher due to the wild growth of trees and shrubs. If a fire does break out near the horses we may not have the chance to get to there to open the gates so they could run out. I am afraid they would perish.

Another reason to re-locate them closer to our main operations is the amount of fuel it takes to drive in and out of the forest property to feed them everyday. That is a 22 mile round trip, we could save a lot of money by having them only a couple of miles from our compound. The time saved in driving that far will also be valuable. That herd of horses are all getting a little older now and I would like them someplace we can keep our eyes on them all day long.

It seems like an impossible mission at this point because the costs are high and time is short. We will need to raise an additional $85,000 above the land purchase for fencing, water, and road repair. My heart is pounding just thinking about it. I would like it to happen this year and hopefully before we have another fire scare. We may not be able to finish it all this year, but I have to try. Once we do get them all moved we can put that mountain forest land up for sale and bring money back into our emergency reserves.

Look at the video clip. These are the “mountain horses”. They are peaceful and content where they are, but they don’t know how dangerous it is these days. They will be just as happy on the new parcel that I have in store for them. It is just as lovely with high hills, large shady trees, spring water to sip from, and most importantly – a fire free space for safety. Please help us turn MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE into MISSION: ACCOMPLISHED with a donation of any amount. It could mean the difference between life and death for 50 wild horses if a wild fire breaks out.

Thank you for your gift of LOVE! You are a LIFESAVER!

From my grateful heart, Jill Starr, Founder and Executive Director

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