New nonprofit seeks to prevent people, horses from dying on Moffat County highway
CRAIG — Wild horses have become one of the winter hazards on Colorado Highway 318 in western Moffat County, prompting the formation of a new group that will raise the money needed to reduce the danger for horses and people.
Wild Horse Warriors of Sand Wash Basin will also work to support individuals, agencies and organizations through fundraising, communication and projects that benefit horses in the Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse Management Area about 45 miles west of Craig.
The new nonprofit will operate under the umbrella of the Community Foundation of Northwest Colorado, a Craig-based 501c3.
“There is no membership fee, as there is no group to join. We are individuals working together or individually for a common goal,” said founder Cindy Wright. “No gadgets or T-shirts are given if you donate. Other than processing fees and accounting fees, 100 percent of your donation will go towards improvements in Sand Wash Basin.”
The individuals behind the non-profit have been actively looking after the range for years, but were unable to raise funds.
“Every time we go to the basin, we are watching over the wild horses. We look for open gates and downed fences. We collect trash, report to the BLM on injured horses, new foals, or the occasional dead horse,” Wright said.
The desire to raise money to support new fencing along Colorado Highway 318 prompted the group to formalize.
“Three sides of the HMA are fenced, however, the southern edge, along Highway 318, is not. Each year, we lose wild horses to vehicle accidents. We would like to put an end to these accidents and protect the wild horses and visitors traveling this area,” said Founder Aletha Dove.
In addition to the highway fence project the group plans to continue the following.
- On The Look Out — a list of horses that might be injured or missing
- Sand Wash Basin DNA Project — seeks to collect and test genetic material to better understand the history of the herd.
- Behind the Scenes reports — keeping people informed about what’s going on with BLM management.
“There are a lot of us that would like to do things in the basin to support the wild horses. By organizing, we are able to help let people know what they could do, how to do it and where to get supplies to do it,” Wright said.
The group intends to work alongside Great Escape Mustang Sanctuary and its Sand Wash Advocacy Team, private landowners, BLM and individuals to ensure the freedom, safety and well-being of the range for the Wild Horses of Sand Wash Basin.
“We will select projects that we can contribute to, financially, with labor or by purchasing materials needed to complete those projects,” Dove said.
To learn more, visit wildhorsewarriorsforswbasin.com.
Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.
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