Friday, May 8, 2020

Mustangs and memories: BLM plan threatens Wyo’s wild horses - Full Article

May 5, 2020 by Chad Hanson

I won’t forget the first wild horses I saw: flared nostrils, churning hooves and dreadlock manes. I intended to go fly fishing on Green Mountain, but I made a set of mustang memories instead.

The unplanned meeting happened years ago. That doesn’t matter. I can still picture the scruffy but yet majestic animals. Experiences, and our recollections afterward, hold deep seats in our minds. Virginia Woolf considered memory “the seamstress that threads our lives together.” Our memories and the stories we tell about them are what make us people.

After you’ve seen mustangs running, sparring or caring for their foals, they stay in your thoughts. Today, the wild horses I have known make me smile in meetings at the office. They run beside me and lend a bit of grace to my ordinary old-man jog for exercise in the morning. They even lured me to the section of the library dedicated to equine lore and history. There, in the stacks, I learned that the oldest horse fossils on Earth were found in Wyoming.

About a year ago, I uncovered a map on the internet that included a wild horse herd area along the banks of Deer Creek, south of Casper. I also learned that the Bureau of Land Management removed those horses entirely. They no longer exist. At a public meeting, I showed the map to the director of the local BLM office. He looked surprised, even taken aback. He could not remember when the agency decided to eliminate wild horses from the prairie south of my hometown...

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