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Why wild horses, and why now?

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way 
its animals are treated." -Mahatma Gandhi

                  In 1972, shortly after passage of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, over 6,000 wild horses lived in New Mexico. Today, estimates are that fewer than 600 live in protected Wild Horse Territories. We once had eight designated territories for wild horses and burros in New Mexico—the populations of five of these territories have been eliminated through round-up and removal. There are now more wild horses in holding facilities with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management than there are running free - approximately 50,000 mustangs rounded up and removed from the wild throughout the west live in these facilities. Drought, starvation, and human impact on public lands make managing wild horse numbers critical to keep mustangs free in numbers that are healthy for them and for the range on which they roam. Here at Sky Mountain Wild Horse Sanctuary, providing a haven for the Sky Mountain band of mustangs continuously informs our work for wild places where mustangs live free and thrive. The Sky Mountain mustangs faced a slow, cruel death from starvation during a fierce winter in their territory before they were gathered, adopted and came to live free and roam at the sanctuary.

"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." -Immanuel Kant

                  The perception exists that there is a wild horse "overpopulation" problem. Today, many factors affect the range on which mustangs roam in numbers estimated to be 35,000 left in the wild. Human impact from mining, oil and gas production, and recreation, the grazing of millions of head of privately-owned livestock, and competition between diverse species of wildlife all affect range health. One long-standing argument against having wild horses on public lands is that they are a non-native species that competes for forage with other wildlife and livestock. Science now tells us that the mustangs of today are native to America (Kirkpatrick & Fazio, 2009). The passage of the Free-Roaming Wild Horse & Burro Act of 1971 made illegal many former “management practices” and was intended to remedy the practice of killing wild horses on public land while designating wild horse territories where mustangs are protected.  The primary method for managing wild horses on public lands since the legislation passed has been continued round-up and removal of mustangs from their home range. These wild horses are offered for adoption and most are then sent to long-term holding, with some going to slaughter. The round-ups themselves are most often conducted by chasing horses with helicopters. This is very stressful on the horses, with injury and even death occurring regularly.

"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." -Albert Einstein


                  We at Sky Mountain Wild Horse Sanctuary believe that this moment holds true opportunity to revolutionize the treatment of wild horses in the West. We view the current challenges in wild horse management as an opportunity for learning, strategizing, and change. The sanctuary employs a multifaceted approach to protecting mustangs by providing no-kill, non-breeding life-long sanctuary for threatened mustangs where they roam free while working with our partners to keep mustangs free in the wild through using
PZP (wildlife immunocontraceptive).  We continue to explore innovative partnerships and opportunities to keep wild horses free and healthy in numbers that are sustainable on the range they share with other species and look forward to sharing more about our growth in 2014 and beyond.

                Please join us in our mission by Joining Sky Mountain Wild today as we provide sanctuary for threatened wild horses and engage in humane, science-based action to keep mustangs free in the wild.

 

 

 

 

 

 

copyright 2014 Sky Mountain Wild Horse Sanctuary