Wonders of Wyoming, Dave Walsh

Prior Mountain horse rangeth  photo courtesy of pinterest.com

Dave Walsh 14 March ’16

They roamed free for hundreds of years, and it was here where they were first protected.  Their ancestors carried warriors on their backs.  They helped build a frontier.  The horse is a Wonder in its own right, and there have been herds of wild horses that have roamed the mountain plains and the deserts of Wyoming for centuries.

These are four-legged descendants of Spaniard conquerors in the 16th century, and Indian nations before and since.  And in the mid-1900’s the herds began to diminish.  Ranches, farms, and the pet food industry, especially the latter, prompted a movement to save the horses.  The Wild Horse Protection Act in 1959 prohibited the round-up of wild horses by aircraft and motor vehicles, but that wasn’t enough.  In 1971 the Wild and Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act provided for the protection and management of wild horses on federal lands.  But two years before that, in 1969, the Bureau of Land Management established “The Pryor Mountains Wild Horse Range, the very first wild horse range in America, just north of Lovell, Wyoming.

The Adopt-a-Horse program began in 1976, but it all started at the Pryor Mountains Wild Horse Range, a working Wonder of Wyoming.