50th Anniversary of the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horses & Burros Act

This week marked the 50 year anniversary of the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act. Sadly, America’s wild horses and burros’ future is in grave jeopardy, in spite of becoming a federally protected species 50 years ago.

The decades-long fight by powerful and wealthy special interests to rid our public lands of these iconic animals has continued to this day. And too many in Congress have been grossly misled by profiteers who continue to exploit taxpayer-funded public lands for commercial and private gain.

President Nixon signed the Act into law on December 15, 1971 and indicated that only about 20,500 wild horses and burros remained on public lands. According to Nixon, “…competition for forage used by domestic livestock, construction of new roads and urban areas, and expansion of agricultural areas have reduced their numbers and sharply decreased the areas where they are free to roam.”

Today America’s wild horses and burros face unprecedented and massive roundups, proposals for dangerous sterilization methods and a continued elimination of millions of acres of lawfully designated wild horse and burro habitat.

It is up to the American people to fight back against commercial interests and continue to pressure elected officials to stand up for wild horses and burros in order to protect and preserve them as intended by the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act.

Horses & Heroes Educational Progam

Front Range Equine Rescue’s education coordinator, Marion, is a full-time teacher who has put together a variety of horse-related curriculums for students of many ages. She has fostered horses for FRER for over 15 years and hosts the annual horse camps at her 5-acre facility.

A few years ago, Marion developed a home school enrichment program where students participate in a unit of study called “Heroes Who Changed the World in a Positive Way”. In her program, students learn about Hilary Wood, founder of Front Range Equine Rescue, how she started the 501c3 nonprofit organization, what the rescue’s mission is, and how students can get involved and help.

Students watch a video featuring some of the rescued horses who have been rehabilitated. Next, they visit workstations that depict learning through hands-on activities for horse anatomy, read information displays about wild horse roundups, horse breeds, horse slaughter, horse instincts, and volunteerism.

Students play a running true/false game after gaining knowledge and also look at Front Range Equine Rescue’s website to gain more insight into the rescue and its various programs to help abused horses. Finally, the students work in pairs reading through FRER’s past calendars to learn more about horses who have been rescued and horse welfare issues. Afterward, they give a short presentation to the class to share these stories.

The participating students are all in middle school, grades 6th-8th, and range in ages 11-14 years old. In 2021, there are two sections for this special class reaching about 40 students overall, with 20 or so per class. 22 students signed up for the first section. This is now the 7th year Marion has taught this very popular special course.