Journal entry, Laura Leigh
As I sit here juggling 4 different projects, all with deadlines, a reader (Mr. Huber) submitted the two photos above for us to include on the “Second Floor” of the online exhibit honoring the 50th Anniverary of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. I absolutely love tracking the history of the human environment, the law and our wild horses. This exhibit is a lot of work, but it is also what I have been doing when I take a break from the the deadline driven world of advocacy.
These two photos have impacted me in ways that are hard to describe succinctly. This is perhaps one of the very last pictures taken prior to the first official capture of wild horses under the Act; truly the last moment of freedom in more ways than one.
Yet, these pictures spoke of so many memories I have had on this journey of advocacy. Of course the image reminded me of the thousands of images I have taken prior to the start of a roundup. These images triggered memories of nearly identical photos I have taken at Stone Cabin over the years.
Then my own memories of all of the moments in time I have spent in Stone Cabin came flooding back like a tidal wave. The memory of being held from seeing the trap (and online death threats) on the day the Ninth Circuit published that amazing First Amendment victory, that took years to win, paving the way for daily access to roundups. When I was homeless at the beginning of my journey (that lasted 6 years) I spent many a night sleeping on that range.The first time I assisted with a trap-site adoption was at Stone Cabin as a storm was coming in and I helped vaccinate, draw blood and do the brand inspection (of course I occasionally grabbed my camera). I still know some of the babies adopted at that event and they have grown into perfect Stone Cabin ambassadors. Our board has held meetings at Stone Cabin. I have taken journalist after journalist out for history lessons and to see those amazing horses.
Those amazing wild horses… Stone Cabin has changed since that image taken in 1975, yet those amazing horses have carried on as the resilient survivors that draw us to them.
As we stand at this critical juncture in history I wonder about the future of Stone Cabin.
The last 4 years have seen massive interest in what lies under the ground, oil and gas lease sales and mining claims being revisited. The nearest town to Stone Cabin, Tonopah, was built in the classic “boom and bust” of the mining industry. I love the town… I love that HMA.
I need to get back to this stack of papers, projects, planning that fill my desk. I do recognize that every piece of paper that I need to address is part of the deep appreciation, the love, for our wild ones. Sometimes those feelings run so deep that a simple email containing two images to add to an online exhibit can send you into memories of time and place that have literally changed who you are…
The actions all of us take today will shape the future of our public lands, our wild ones that occupy those lands… and ourselves.
Back to work.
If you have a piece of history you would like to submit to the online exhibit, and have the copyright to give written permission, email Laura@WildHorseEducation.org and put “exhibit submission” in the subject line so we can identify it quickly. We get a lot of email.