Wild horses, repairs focus of Moffat County public lands celebration | CraigDailyPress.com

Wild horses, repairs focus of Moffat County public lands celebration

CRAIG — Volunteers from across the west will rendezvous in Moffat County on Sept. 30 for a celebration of public lands.

National Public Lands Day is the largest hands-on volunteer effort on public lands in Colorado and across the country. The day is marked with events and volunteer efforts throughout the country.

This year, the Little Snake Office of the Bureau of Land Management has partnered with the Sand Wash Advocate Team, or SWAT, and the Great Escape Mustang Sanctuary, or GEMS, on a fence repair project in the Sand Wash Basin, about 45 miles west of Craig. The Sand Wash Basin Herd Management Area is about 160,000 acres of mostly public land that is home to about 650 wild horses.

Most of the perimeter of the area is fenced, but some sections have fallen into disrepair in recent years.

"This is a great opportunity to help improve Sand Wash for wild horses and enjoy a great day outdoors," said SWAT Program Director Aleta Wolf.

SWAT, in partnership with the BLM, has held a volunteer rendezvous in the basin for the past four years.

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"Last year, there were 50 volunteers that removed over 400 pounds of old fencing materials," said Public Affairs Specialist Courtney Whiteman.

This year participants will help with fence repair and cleanup in the wild horse herd management area.

SWAT will provide water, snacks and a barbecue lunch. Participants are asked to bring a dish to share, sunscreen, a sun hat and, if possible, work gloves, fencing tools and a camp chair.

The Little Snake Office of the BLM, headquartered in Craig, manages 1.3 million acres of public lands in Moffat, Rio Blanco and Routt counties.

"Each year, more than 4,000 volunteers contribute more than 200,000 hours to the BLM in Colorado," said Public Affairs Specialist David Boyd, in a news release about the event. "The agency relies on and celebrates the help of volunteers to accomplish many important projects."

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.

If you go

What: National Public Lands Day and SWAT Rendezvous
Where: Bureau of Land Management Corrals at Sand Wash Basin, off Colo. Highway 318
When: Meet at 9 a.m. Sept. 30 before traveling to work locations throughout the herd management area.
Items to bring: Fencing pliers, fence repair tools, hammer, leather gloves, hat sunglasses, sunscreen, camp chair.
Cost: Free to attend, bring a side dish to share
Information: Call the BLM’s Hunter Seim at 970-826-5000 or SWAT’s Aleta Wolf at 720-891-0877, or email SWAT at info@sandwashadvocate.org.