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Help us preserve the Last of the Wild Horses in Northern New Mexico.

An action is underway by the district ranger of the El Rito District of the Carson National Forest to eradicate all but 12 or 14 of the wild horse population living within the 54,866 acre La Jarita Mesa Wildhorse territory.

This recently discovered herd of wild horses within the Carson National Forest have been positively identified as descendants of the Spanish horses brought to the Americas by Juan de Onate in and around 1598. Blood tests done by the University of Kentucky have verified the Spanish Markers found in some of these horses. These horses are in danger of being removed to the point of extinction through mismanagement by the El Rito Forest Service. It is our belief that this action is in conjunction with a few cattle permittees who want to eliminate these horses to enable them to run more privately owned cattle on the legally designated wild horse reserve.

Unless action is taken by the public immediately, the district ranger of the El Rito Ranger District will proceed with his plan to use water traps, feed traps, helicopters, tranquilizers, in order to remove these horses from the wild. These horses would be subject to being destroyed in the most humane and cost efficient manner possible.

At question here is the right of these horses to exist in an already designated Wildhorse Territory.

By the all accounts the herd of wild horses on the Jarita Mesa Wildhorse Territory may actually number between 40 and 100 horses.

These horses share the land with elk, deer, and permitted cattle. The elk and deer are legally hunted. Unfortunately there have been numerous stories of people finding horses from this herd shot dead, some left as bear bait. Suspicion falls on the ranchers in the area who believe the land belongs to them. Truth is the land belongs to the American people and the horses have a right to be there.

It is time for the El Rito Ranger District to do their job and protect these animals rather then Eradicated them. Why does the District Ranger want to euthanize these horses if he cannot find a suitable wild horse territory to remove them to? They are already on a suitable territory legally designated as a Wild Horse Reserve. Does this make any sense to you? Only if you are a local cattle rancher who does not want to share the 56,866 acre Wildhorse Territory within Carson National Forest with less then 100 horses (it may be less then 50).

These La Jarita Mustangs represent one more place where the past is kept alive in the present. We should honor these horses as part of our history as the U.S. government intended. This land has been put aside by our government for these wild horses to be free to roam within. At the moment there is a single District ranger who wants to change the fate of these animals by declaring them a danger to the vegetation in the area and professes a need to remove them. Private interest seems be playing a part in his decision. Well now it is time for some Public Interest.

At present the El Rito District Ranger plans to begin reducing the existing herd of wild and free roaming horses commencing initial capture in 2001. There are alternative ways of dealing with the situation that must be discussed , reviewed, and approved by the people of New Mexico. Please participate. We need your help.

In conjunction with the Wild Horse and Burro Freedom Alliance we have requested specific information from District Ranger Kurt L. Winchester pertaining to the relationship between the wild horse herd, the cattle grazing, the vegetation and all existing management plans. There has been no response to date from a June 20th request.

The Alliance is a coalition of 16 organizations with a combined membership of over 9 million members dedicated to the preservation of wild, free roaming horses and burros on our public land.

We now must take action to prevent this proposed action from beginning in 2001.

For details of how you can help, please write to:

PO Box 156 Abiquiu, NM 87510 or e-mail to:

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