Saturday, September 5, 2009

Pryor Mountains and Wild Horses

I have skipped quite a bit of time. I will write about Yellowstone and Cody, Mammoth Site, Rodeo, the stars hanging close to us in the sky in the Big Horn Mts., Buffalo, geisers, Sundance, and family, Lusk, racing lawn mowers, kissing cows, and a great church. There is so much to tell, but I'll talk about those later. I want to talk about today.

What a strange day. It was wonderful, yet, unique. We heard about a bunch of wild horses that live in the Pryor Mountain range near Lovell, WY. I really wanted to see them. It would be such a unique experience for the kids. It is not something you can see very many places.

As we drove north of Lovell, we noticed there are off road riding trails all over the mountains. The mountains are interesting. They aren't the huge mountains of the Big Horns, smaller, yet still big. It looks a lot like the Badlands in South Dakota. There is a canyon in the middle, called Devils Canyon. I wish such wonderful sights would not be named after the nasty ol' devil. The canyon was so deep with a beautiful river flowing through it. The river is not fast where we saw it.

As we drove through the area we came across the wild horses, roaming the hills. It was strange to think they are wild yet confined to that area. They are free yet kept.  They are managed in many ways yet belong to no one.

This is where the controvery really heats up. While we were there the BLM was rounding up the herd and taking a count. They have a specific number of wild horses that can live off of the amount of land that is available. They auction off all the extra horses that they feel would suffer needlessly in the long cold winter months. Some would die from lack of food - according to their figures.

Then there are the activists who have a different number. They feel more horses can be left on the land than what the BLM does.  They disagree on more issues than I have the energy to write about.  Their concern is for the wellfare of this herd and its future also but they feel that the BLM is not managing the herd properly.

It is hard to say who is right.  To study the land and how many animals it can support is not something the average person can complete.  This is truly a passionate controversy that we happened to land in the middle of.

As we pulled into the "round up" area, we were told there had been death threats on the BLM staff by people who were against the round up.

Just like our visit to the Battle of Little Big Horn in Montana and our stop at Kennesaw Mountain in Georgia, this too would cause me to dig deep into my heart and mind and give my children a fair education of the comlexities of life.  We discussed this dilemma and walked away from it with a new love for a beautiful herd of horses.

We can only hope that these groups of people who only want what is best for these amazing horses will find common ground and be able to have open ears, minds, and hearts as they push forward to preserve this amazing American heritage.

Here are some links for more information.

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