The fawns, does and bucks in and around Idyllwild, California need your help.
Thousands of deer were run out of their habitat, nestled high in the San Bernardino National Forest, by a human-related wildfire which scorched more than 27,000 acres. The Mountain Fire of July 2013 was the nation's top priority, as the magical art town of Idyllwild, home of the Idyllwild Arts Academy, The Jazz In The Pines Festival and home to many talented artists, was evacuated for nearly a week.
Learn about how you can contribute to the documentary film telling this story: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1949617202/the-herd-gathering
After a team of more than 3,000 firefighters worked tirelessly to contain this devastating blaze, residents of Idyllwild and neighboring communities were permitted to safely return to their homes, unlike the area's deer population. Their fate is uncertain.
Thousands of lovely deer, the symbol of Idyllwild's unity and compassion, will begin to return to the higher elevations in Spring of 2014, to feed on the early vegetation that grows back in the first years after fire. Just as their numbers begin to climb again, the deer will face an even deadlier foe than the human-caused fire that had run them out -- hunting season. October 2014 will offer hunters in the Northern sector of the D19 Deer Hunt Zone a clear shot at herds of deer families, who no longer benefit from the cover of trees and brush. Their feeding grounds and the surrounding areas will become a kill zone, thwarting the deer population from making a comeback after the catastrophic fire that had sent the surviving deer running for their lives.
We believe that this peaceful and defenseless species of animal has the right to make a return, not into hostile territory, but to a habitat where they can regroup and repopulate. Please sign our petition asking the Director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to suspend all big game hunting for the years of 2014 and 2015 in the Northern sector of Deer Hunt Zone D19.
Learn more and contribute to the feature length documentary THE HERD GATHERING, where a local artists and activists unite to to ensure that the deer are able to return safely and repopulate the area. For more information visit: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1949617202/the-herd-gathering
Dear Director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife
As you know, in July of 2013, a massive, human-caused wildfire called the Mountain Fire destroyed over 27,000 acres of the San Bernardino National Forest. The mountain village of Idyllwild and other nearby communities were evacuated and the Mountain Fire became the nation's top priority.
The wildlife that inhabited this area and managed to outrun the deadly flames, suffered a tragic blow, being forced to flee their habitat and escape towards lower elevations. In Spring of 2014, thousands of surviving deer will migrate back to the higher altitudes, to feed on the early successional vegetation that grows back in the first years after fire. We want to ensure that the deer are able to return safely and repopulate the area by having the California Department of Fish and Wildlife suspend all big-game hunting for years 2014 and 2015 in the Northern Sector of the D19 Deer Hunt Zone, where the Mountain Fire occurred. This will assist the repopulation of the thousands of deer to that area. For hunters to take advantage of and slaughter the deer coming back to reestablish their presence after being chased out by human-caused wildfire is unjust. Hunters benefitting from the effects of a human- caused wildfire in the name of "sport" is barbaric and environmentally irresponsible.
It is up to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to ensure that the deer have a relatively fair chance at making a comeback and returning to their mountain, as human residents of the mountain had their fair chance. As one of the evacuees, I would have been terrified if after the firefighting team lifted the evacuation and allowed me and my family to return home, I'd find someone standing on my property with a rifle pointed at me. Without the cover of trees, which have burnt from the Mountain Fire of 2013, these deer will be stepping into one of the deadliest kill zones in Southern California and a certain massacre. Let's give these beloved animals, the symbol of nearby Idyllwild, one of the top art towns in The U.S., a head start before allowing them to once again be labeled as fair game.
Scott J. Foster
Founder of LOVE Idyllwild Deer (LID)
LOVE Idyllwild Deer is committed to protecting deer from the after-effects of wildfires and the unfair advantages it provides for deer hunters.