René Littlehawk: Wild horses are a gift to Moffat County
Anyone who knows me knows my passion for all animals great and small. They also know that my biggest passion in the animal kingdom is the horse. My life has been inundated with the horse since I was born. I have always had horses and always will. All the ones I have now are well loved and well used.
Those who live in Moffat County are lucky that we have the best wild horses in the nation. They have such a variety of color and are some of the best looking of all the wild horses. They also have more size to them than some of the other wild horse herds.
They have become a symbol of the west and its freedom. An icon of our county, these horses have a following that is unbelievable. People from all over the world have watched these horses grow and thrive. Folks travel here from all around, and if they can’t come in person they follow them via the internet on the Sand Wash Basin Wild Horse Facebook page.
Many here in our little corner of the world have been looking over them and protecting them for years, and generations in some cases. The Bureau of Land Management is charged with the management of the herds and the ground they call home, which is 160,000 acres in Sand Wash Basin. This is a big job for anyone to do, and we do have an opportunity to help them with the management and future of this spectacular herd. As nice as all the social media sites are they also serve as a venue for misunderstanding.
To accomplish a true group effort we need to understand that the Sand Wash Advocate Team is the group that BLM has chosen to create an memorandum of understanding with to help provide the management for the horses. SWAT was formed in 2012 when a need was recognized to organize the energy and efforts of individuals and groups in supporting the Sand Wash Basin wild horses. SWAT is 100 percent volunteer-driven.
Please visit http://www.sandwashadvocate.org for more information.
We need to bring all this energy together as it was planned by SWAT, and work for the horses. We want the majesty and the wildness to remain for these animals for future enjoyment.
There is currently in the works a guideline of conduct for people visiting the horses. It is unfortunate that we have to even consider it, but there are more and more incidents of folks getting in too close to the horses. Please, if you go to view the horses, keep a football field of distance between you and the nearest horse. The wonderful new photography equipment and the optics available for viewing make getting closer very unnecessary. Another item slated to go on the Guidelines is food. Please, under no circumstances give food or treats to the wild horses. These two items are probably the most important to consider when you are out enjoying the horses.
We want the wild and free to remain a romantic notion for the generations to come. Please, lets work together for the common goal of the future of the Sand Wash Basin wild horses.