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Local Siskiyou County Rancher – Naturalist’s Research Featured In International News

The past few days, the international news outlet The Guardian featured the research of local Siskiyou County rancher-naturalist William E. Simpson II in its online and print editions in the United Kingdom and the U.S.  

As a former member of the Future Famers of America and rancher in the 1960’s, Simpson’s foundational understanding of the value of livestock grazing using cattle and sheep to help manage wildfire fuels has been augmented by his research with wild horses, supported by his training in science at Oregon State University combined with his experience as a logger and forest-land manager. 

Simpson was on the 2018 Klamathon Fire fire-line for 9-days as the local knowledge advisor at the Camp Creek operational base for CALFIRE.

The large areas of reduced grass and brush fuels and firebreaks created by the herd of horses in the area gave CALFIRE the edge that helped their wildfire suppression efforts succeed, saving the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument from total incineration. Unfortunately, the toxic smoke from that wildfire claimed the life of Simpson’s wife, Laura Simpson. 


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