The mission of Wild Horse Warriors is to work together with other individuals and organizations to ensure the freedom, safety, and the well-being of the Wild Horses of Sand Wash Basin Colorado, while improving the range.
A Healthy Range for Healthy Wild Horses
"All or part of this operation is conducted on Public Lands under special permit from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management."
Who are the Wild Horse Warriors of Sand Wash Basin? We all are! Every time we go to the Basin, we are watching for open gates, down fence, picking up trash, reporting injured horses, new foals, or the occasional deceased horse. The point is we are all watching over the Sand Wash Basin Wild Horses.
Aletha and Cindy are Colorado natives and have been visiting the Sand Wash Basin area their entire lives. When they were growing up the wild horses roamed most of the area around Maybell, Sunbeam and into the Brown's Park area. There were 100's if not 1000's of wild horses. They were hard to spot unless you knew where to go or which private land owner would let you onto their land to see the wild horses.
In the 1970's after the Free Roaming WIld Horse and Burro Act was signed, the BLM had to decide where they wanted the HMA. The choices they had were Douglas Mountain or Sand Wash Basin. They chose Sand Wash Basin. That was the beginning of the Sand Wash Basin Herd Management Area.
Many changes have happened since then and many more need to happen to make
Sand Wash Basin Herd Management Area self-sustaining for our wild horses.
We are presently working under The Community Foundation of Northwest Colorado's 501(c)(3).
The Community Foundation of Northwest Colorado is our fiscal agent.
Sand Wash Basin is a 155,000 acre Herd Management Area (HMA). It is a fenced HMA where the Wild Horses run free. Sand Wash Basin is a multi use area, with public access. The Wild Horses share the HMA with Greater-Sage Grouse, Elk, Deer, Pronghorn, Coyotes, Mountain Lions, Badgers, Golden and Bald Eagles, along with Dirt Bikes and ATV Riders.
Sand Wash Basin is a Special Draw area for Elk and Deer Hunting.
Sand Wash Basin is located Northwest of Maybell, Colorado, on CR 318. The Wild Horses in Sand Wash Basin are protected by
The Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971.
Our very first project in 2018, was creating a permanent water source at Lake Draw. Today this remains the main reliable water source in Sand Wash Basin.
On July 6, 2018 we hauled our first water to the wild horses in Sand Wash Basin.
It did not take long for us to realize that our truck and water tanks could not keep up with the demands of the wild horses. Bethell has hauled water for us in 2018, 2020 and in 2021.
With your donations we have rebuilt two ponds. Both are currently full of water.
With the help of volunteers we sealed three ponds. Two of these ponds are now holding water longer than they previously had. The third pond has never had enough run off or rain to fill it.
The old solar panels could not produce any wattage on cloudy days. We purchased two generators to run at two different sites to keep up with the demand of the wild horses.
In 2020 we were able to purchase new updated solar panels for two locations. Thd BLM split the cost with us. The new panels are ready for a backup battery system if needed, but also are stronger and can still pump water on cloudy days.
Volunteers helped Wild Horse Warriors clean, repair and reline the trough at Sheepherder Spring.
Volunteers have helped repair fence.
Opening the old well on 7 was one of the most rewarding projects we have attempted. Solar panels have been installed and the well is ready for use.
Moss control is a twice weekly requirement at Lake Draw and sometimes a sewer snake is needed to unplug the longer pipes.
From the fall of 2017 to the fist post in the ground June 21, 2021. Aletha followed this through to the
Gates installed at the OHV entrances .
Moffat County Road and Bridge installed the livestock safe cattle guard on
County Road 67.
Wild Horse Warriors worked directly with Colorado Department pf Transportation, (CDOT).
On August 27, 2021 CDOT conducted their final inspection and the Van Gogh Legacy Fence was complete.
Wild Horse Warriors making our final payment to Isidro Quezada.
He was a great contactor to work with.
As we look forward to 2022, and beyond, we will continue to work towards making Sand Wash Basin self-sustaining.
Water will always be a top priority. We hope to make improvements to Two Bar that will increase production. We also have several more wells we plan to investigate to see if they can be opened and repurposed to water our wild horses.There are also numerous ponds that could be rebuilt
The BLM is working with us to determine which might be the most beneficial and most likely to still provide water.
When a well is repurposed the BLM has what they call 81-100 dollars that can sometimes be used to help pay for the improvements. Those funds are dollars that have been collected by the grazing allotments, or in our case the sheepherders. Those dollars can only be used if the improvement is also beneficial to the grazers. When we opened the well on Cty Rd 75, WHW paid $10,000 the BLM paid $10,000 from the 81-100 funds and the stakeholder or the grazer will pay $10,000 towards the final water system.
Wild Horse Warriors and the BLM are also talking about the possibility of reseeding some areas. This is very expensive, but WHW feels it needs to be done. We do have one possible partner that we are working with that might be able to contribute to this project.