This post is to give a shout out to a remarkable young woman who has supported our Colorado chapter of the National Mustang Association for the last couple of years, Hannah. Last year, Hannah sent $100 of her babysitting money to NMA/CO to be used in our efforts to advocate for the wild horses of Spring Creek Basin. This fall, she sent $100 again. Hannah, we so appreciate your interest in the horses!
I don’t very often (OK, maybe never) talk about our group, but I think it’s time to start “tooting our horn,” so to speak, and this may be a good time to start.
NMA/CO is a nonprofit chapter of the original organization, based in Utah, that oversees a wild horse sanctuary in Nevada. Members of that original organization had a hand in promoting the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range before the 1971 Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burro Act went into effect, an interesting fact I learned when I read Hope Ryden’s America’s Last Wild Horses. Locally, members have been staunch advocates of the Spring Creek Basin herd for more than a decade (approaching 15 years now, I believe). Our group focuses solely on the wild horses of Spring Creek Basin, and, interestingly, it was originally started at the request of a former BLM manager of the herd.
I got involved around the time of the 2007 roundup and now am president of the chapter. NMA/CO has done numerous projects in the basin, including removing old fences, building new fences and maintaining boundary fences; building the current water catchment, which provides the only source of fresh water to the horses in the basin (the other sources being extremely alkaline); providing boots to inmates in the inmate training program at Canon City; cutting and spraying tamarisk, also known as salt cedar; helping subsidize trips each spring for “alternative spring break” students from the University of Missouri who do projects on San Juan public lands in Southwest Colorado, including in the basin; trash pickup; and, perhaps the biggest project of all, buying and permanently retiring $40,000 worth of cattle AUMs in the basin several years ago, leaving only one grazing-rights holder, who runs cattle in the basin from Dec. 1 to Feb. 28. These are all projects Hannah and other members contribute to making happen for our wild horses.
Last year, I named the first filly born in Spring Creek Basin after young Hannah. The suggestion was put forward by a member of our board and unanimously – and enthusiastically! – approved by all.
Hannah-filly, now a yearling and thriving.
Hannah with her best friend, year-mate and half-sister, Sable.
Hannah-girl, thank you so much for your generous contributions to our Spring Creek Basin mustangs! You are thought of often, in fact, every time I see Hannah-filly!
From Hannah-filly and the rest of us, thank you!
I hope this works … The above is a link to our current (Fall/Winter 2010) NMA/CO newsletter. As you can see (if it works!), we have a lot going on. I think it’s also time to start talking about management strategies we are encouraging in Spring Creek basin, which includes the use of fertility control. It’s about to be roundup year in the basin, and the more facts I can disseminate, the better informed people will be about our realities.
The first fact: Because of the herd population and the limited resources in the basin, a roundup is necessary. Second: With the future use of fertility control, we hope to slow (not stop) population growth and push roundups to as few and far between as possible. Local BLM is considering our proposal, and we hope that will have a favorable outcome.
More to come on this issue.