The Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971

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The Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971

[Ed. Note: Please watch Mustang Conspiracy for a thorough overview of the reasons behind the rounding up and captivity and slaughter of America's wild horses and burros and read U.S. Representative Raul Grijalva Honors Cloud and All Wild Horses and Burros.]

From American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign

In 1971, an unprecedented public outcry moved Congress to unanimously pass the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act, granting federal protection to America’s wild horses and burros as “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West […] that […] contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people.”

In 1971, an unprecedented public outcry moved Congress to unanimously pass the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act, granting federal protection to America’s wild horses and burros as “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West […] that […] contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people.”

From over 2 million in the 1800s, America’s wild horse population has dwindled to fewer than 33,000. There are now more wild horses in government holding pens than remain in the wild, with many of the remaining herds managed at population levels that do not guarantee their long-term survival. Still, the round-ups continue.

Over the past forty years, federal law enacted by the people on behalf of their wild horses has been ignored. No strategic plan to keep viable herds of wild horses on public lands was ever developed.

The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign is dedicated to preserving the American wild horse in viable free-roaming herds for generations to come, as part of our national heritage. Its grassroots efforts are supported by a coalition of over forty organizations.

The AWHPC Coalition is calling on Congress to reform the government’s wild horse management program and organizing a grassroots campaign in support of:

A suspension of roundups in all but verifiable emergency situations while the entire BLM wild horse program undergoes objective and scientific review;
Higher Appropriate Management Levels (AML) for wild horses on those rangelands designated for them;
Implementation of in-the-wild management, which would keep wild horses on the range and save taxpayers millions annually by avoiding the mass removal and stockpiling wild horses in government holding facilities.

I believe, as do so many of my fellow Americans, that the wild horse is an irreplaceable national treasure. It would be a tragic mistake to allow this noble creature to disappear from our western landscape.
—Robert Redford

At this critical juncture, we encourage the public and the media to draw from the continually updated information and research found on this site to help raise awareness of the plight of the American wild horse. For Campaign updates and alerts, please join our email list.