Preserve and protect our Wild Horses on Public Land
Wild Horse Education, Mission
Wild Horse Education (WHE) is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization devoted to protecting America’s wild horses from abuse, slaughter and to preserve our herds and the land they stand on for future generations.
The Road We Are On
In 1971 the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burros Act (WFRH&B Act) established federal jurisdiction over free roaming horses and burros on public land. The act was put in place as Congress declared wild horses the “living symbols” of the pioneer spirit of the West and “fast disappearing.” A brutal practice existed in the West known as “mustanging.” Mustangs brought fast cash to anyone with a rope, truck or plane that hunted down the animals and shipped them off to be ground up for chicken feed, fertilizer and dog food.
The act of Congress created the legal definition of “wild” and tiered their protection to “the land they now stand.” This distinction is unique. These are the only animals in the US not legally defined by what they are biologically, but by the land they stand on.
During the same time period the United States government began multiple programs to begin to preserve and protect our environment. It was the beginning of a time of recognition that profit without regulation was destroying our air, water and even our wild horses.
Today our public lands are under assault as profit driven interests push hard for control over public resources. That fight includes maintaining the prohibitions that keep our wild horses free from slaughter, stopping habitat loss and pushing back against massive propaganda campaigns that continue to scapegoat the wild horse without scientific basis.
We must adapt to meet the rapidly changing physical and political reality of public land management.
- Wild horses legally occupy only about 11% of public land. The land they stand on is critical for their survival.
- Domestic livestock is the largest user of public grazing land with more than 2/3 open for their use. Domestic livestock production is the most destructive use of grazing land. Within the legally designated areas for wild horses domestic livestock can outnumber them by as much as 100-1 in year round use (each HMA is distinct and site specific in ratio of use).
- Mineral extraction, oil and gas are rapidly expanding as regulations to protect the environment are minimized or discarded. This expansion is leading to extraordinary habitat loss that will force removals of wild horses as their habitat is impacted.
We must meet this challenge head on. A wild horse program run on myth, conjecture, convenience and cronyism will not protect our wild horses and the land they stand on. We are their voice. We will rise to the challenge.
“Creative adaptability is key to maintaining effective advocacy.“
Laura Leigh | WHE Founder