Wild horses have been part of the North American ecosystem for nearly 500 years, ever since the first mustangs, descendants of the horses brought by the Spanish conquistadors found their way onto the plains (Britannica).
Recently, wild horses have become a “nuisance” for ranchers, range managers, and government officials that want to keep grazing lands all to themselves, especially in places where there seem to be as many horses as humans.
This problem is the most obvious in Wyoming, South Dakota, northwestern Arizona, and, notably, Nevada, where the wild horses form great herds and are often rounded-up and slaughtered by the federal government.
To draw attention to the plight of these historic and beautiful animals, award-winning filmmaker and wild horse activist, James Anaquad-Kleinert recently released a star-studded documentary called Wild Horses & Renegades that examines the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) controversial policies on public lands, and the systematic elimination of America’s wild horses and burros.
Internationally-acclaimed band U2 lent their support to the film with the re-release of one of their best songs, “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses”. Watch the powerful music video here.
“If the public could view what’s being done to wild horses, the public would stand up and take action, this is just not a film about America’s Wild Horses this is a film about what is happening to America itself!” states Michael Blake, author of Dances with Wolves.
Since 2001, the BLM has removed more than 90,000 wild horses off their federally protected land. More than 24 million acres have been withdrawn from wild horse and burro use despite the 1971 Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act. 40,000 wild horses are currently in government holding facilities instead of roaming on the land designated for their use. The BLM’s roundup and removal policy is leading to the extinction of wild horses and burros in the West. This costs the American taxpayer $120,000 per day.
To learn more about the film and how to help save America’s wild horses and burros, please visit: theamericanwildhorse.com
Image Credit: Flickr - treeday77