The focus of our Foundation is to find and implement common ground solutions where reasonable people can hang their hat and say, “Yes, we can get this done!”

To be honest, given the varied and fervent opinions of the many stakeholders who want a voice in wild horse and burro management, it is easy to lose hope that we can find common ground when it comes to determining the management objectives for America’s wild horses and burros. However, after years of working on these issues, meeting with many people, talking with BLM (Bureau of Land Management) employees, and attending wild horse and burro meetings, we feel that there are a few common solutions upon which most will agree.

ISSUE #1
On-range management techniques need to be revised.
Solution:  Advance the use of contraceptives on the range to control herd size, and consequently minimize the number of animals that are removed from the range.

As is often the case in life, there are no perfect solutions to complicated problems.  However, we believe that contraception is the best solution for controlling herd size.

The best contraceptive that is available right now is PZP (Porcine Zona Pellucida). While PZP is not a perfect solution, it is a vast improvement over the traditional management method of rounding-up and removing horses deemed to exceed the carrying capacity of the land.

For the past few years our Foundation has been working with the BLM to treat the mares of the Onaqui Mountain Herd with PZP. Our goal is to expand this work to other herds. You can learn more by visiting our Onaqui and PZP pages.

ISSUE #2
There are too many horses and burros who have been removed from the range being housed in short and long-term facilities.
Solution:  Increase the adoption rate and create sanctuaries where formerly wild horses and burros will have good, free-range homes.

As things now stand, there isn’t a lot of hope for the horses and burros who have been removed from their former homes.  They won’t be going back to their native range and due to the shortcomings of adoption programs it’s fairly likely that they will stay in the BLM-funded pens where they now reside.

BLM currently adopts out about 2,500 animals per year.  This figure is woefully inadequate to ever find good homes for the almost 50,000 animals who are in BLM pens/holding facilities.

One of our goals is to obtain land where we can create sanctuaries where they can run free again.   We’d like to give homes to all 50,000 horses who are now in captivity, but providing new range for even a few thousand would be a win.

It’s a monumental project.  We’ve looked at a number of ranches, some in the 500,000 to 1,000,000 acre range.  They are expensive and often full of complicating factors.   But, we know that the right land is out.

In addition to providing good homes for horses and burros, we believe that sanctuaries should benefit many species of animals and plants.

The Fremont Island Project is a great example of how we plan to pull together experts in many different fields to create an exemplary sanctuary that benefits horses, wildlife, and birds.  It will also be a place to practice rangeland restoration, which is a very important in the west.

Sanctuaries are not an easy solution.  Finding the right land to use and acquiring funding are huge obstacles.  To review some of the challenges please research Mustang Monument (Madeleine Pickens’ sanctuary) and the recent atrocities at the ISPMB (International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros) sanctuary.   To review a sanctuary that has been successful, please check out the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary.

We’d love to hear from you if you know about a ranch that is available that would potentially make a great wild horse sanctuary.