2023 has brought many changes to Sand Wash Basin, Colorado and to all the wild horses in Colorado.
The winter of 2022-23 was a record breaking cold and snowy winter and we lost many of our wild horses to the weather. This was not due to lack of food or water, it was an act of nature that prevented the wild horses from moving from one location to another to allow them access to more food. The snow and wind created a barrier that many just could not break through to survive.
Spring brought tons of water to fill our ponds and feed the growing vegetation. Our horses are looking wonderful as we go into what is supposed to be another tough winter. Our fingers are crossed that the forecast is wrong.
While we sat and waited for the snow to melt, we were busy working with the State of Colorado on Senate bill 23-275. This bill will provide Colorado State funding for our wild horses. Early this summer it passed and became the first Nationwide Bill that we hope will lead the Country in a more positive approach to managing the wild horses.
The wild horses are Federally protected, so this bill is only a funding bill to assist with BLM and the local partnering groups with the management of the range and the wild horses. There has been $500,000 appropriated for fertility control and $500,000 for on range projects. Each of the head management areas has been granted an amount for their improvements.
Sand Wash Basin has been given $73,000. We will be using $25,000 for gates, there are several areas that have wire gates that are hard to close and often get left open and we hope to add gates in the areas that have cattle guards that freeze over during the winter allowing the wild horse to leave the area.
$7,000 will be used for new signage. This will include more horse loop signs and signs with emergency exit information.
$29,500 will be used for improvements to CoffeePot Spirngs and
$12,300 will be used for repairs at SheepHerder Springs.
All of the costs are estimates and the bids are now over a year old. Some may cost more and some less. It is possible we can move some of the funds from one allocation to another, but we may still be short to complete all the projects.
We also would like to repair SheepPen Pond and that is an additional $30,000.
Aletha and I are people who like to get things done quickly and we are hoping that with your help and with the funds from the State we could get all of these projects completed in 2024!
We have contractors working to update their bids and if the weather holds we hope to start these projects yet this fall.
Your donations have helped us complete many projects for a healthier range for wild horses, Thank you, without your donations done of the previous projects would have been possible.
If you would like to help us continue our efforts to make Sand Wash Basin self-sustaining please make a donation.
You may also mail a check to;
The Community Foundation of Northwest of Colorado PO Box 653, Craig CO 81626
The Community Foundation is our fiscal agent. Please mark you checks WHW