I have always believed that God created all creatures great & small for a very special purpose, and that we as the dominant species should protect and preserve them for generations to come. So after I moved to Lovell, Wyoming in 2003 to be with my Dad, I feel blessed to have found the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center and the wild horses that inhabit these mountains that span the border between Montana and Wyoming.
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Today, as the director of the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center I feel so blessed with the opportunity to help educate the public about how special and important these wild horses are, and to have found the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center and the Wild Horses. I am honored to have been chosen for this position.
I moved to Lovell in 2003 because my Dad lived here. Little did I know that I would find something so special and something that I am so passionate about and be able to help educate the public about how special and important these Pryor Mountain Wild Horses are. The wild horses' history, conformation, and genetics show that they are direct descendants from the horses brought to the New World by the Spanish Conquistadors.
I have always loved animals, wildlife, and any living creature that needed someone to speak up on their behalf, for whatever that reason may be. The Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range consists of approximately 38,000 acres, the majority of it being in Montana. The BLM (Bureau of Land Management) the National Park Service (Big Horn Canyon National Recreation Area) and the Forest Service all have a part of the PMWHR (Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range)
In 1968, the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range was designated the first public wild horse range in the USA. This came to be because of some very special people. The Tillet family were some of the first to save these horses from sure destruction. Another person who was very instrumental in saving these wild horses was Reverend Floyd Schwieger. He saw that these wild horses were different in appearance and so they were special. He, along with many other "Lovellites" saved these horses from being rounded up and destroyed by the BLM.
His dream was to have a Center that would educate the public about these unique wild horses and also be dedicated to preserving and interpreting the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustangs.
In 2007 the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center opened its doors to the public. Unfortunately Reverend Schwieger had passed away and did not get to see his dream come true. Many dedicated people have given countless hours to keep the Center going. To name a few; John & Lynda Nickle, Matthew Dillon, Nancy Cerroni, Dale & Daphne Hartman, Hope Ryden, and I could list so many more but there is not enough space. At the Center we have boxes of video tapes, photographs, letters, and many more types of archival records from years ago to the present. Many people come to the Center to study the history of the Pryor Horses, and learn about the people who were instrumental in their preservation.
The Mission Statement of the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center states:
"The Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center is dedicated to preserving, and interpreting the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustangs, their evolution, history, habitat needs, and historical significance".
There are many challenges ahead for the Center. The management of the herd is the BLM's (Bureau of Land Management) responsibility. Since the old days there have been many changes within the BLM and with the public's outcry for the protection of these wild horses and other wild horse herds in the west.
The PMWMC has a working relationship with the Billings Field Office, BLM, who are responsible for managing this herd. We choose to work with the BLM instead of fighting against them, and we feel this is the most beneficial for the herd. We work hard to find the best solutions for management, while sticking to our principles and mission for this unique herd of wild horses.
There are many goals for the Center, but the main two being the preservation of these special horses and educating the people through school field trips, visitors stopping at the center, and presentations in the area about the range and wild horses. There are people who are writing books about the Pryor wild horses who come to do research at the Center. There are also many professional photographers who come to the Center for directions for the best viewing of the herd.
Reverend Schwieger and others had a architect draw up plans for a future Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Educational Center. This is another goal for the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center. I truly hope that someday this goal is met.
The Pryor Mountain Wild Horses are a big part of the tourism here in Lovell, and without these horses there would not be near as many visitors. People come from all over the world just to see these wild horses.
If you have not seen this very special herd of Wild Horses then you need to come to the area to view them, in all of their wildness, their freedom and in all of their glory! They are a sight to behold!
The Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regarding the gathering and sharing of herd-related data. The kinship data set is based on matrilineal relationships that each individual horse has to other herd members. This information is invaluable to BLM managers who seek to manage the herd with minimal impact to the herd's genetic health.
The PMWMC also works with the Big Horn National Recreation Area Park in educating the public about the importance of the Pryor Mountain Wild Horses and other aspects of the herd.
Creating a Legacy
It is the intent of the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center to preserve this unique herd and to educate the public about their historic significance. To work with others in making the best decisions for the preservation of the Pryor wild horses.
We hope that the PMWMC will be recognized for all of the hard work,dedication, and perserverence by certain individuals in the preservation of the Pryor wild horses, and that this will be recognized for generations to come.
Hopefully this will be our Legacy.
There are a number of ways that a person can support the Pryor Mountain wild Mustang Center.
We welcome volunteers to help with different projects. Some people volunteer to go out on the range and be a "mustang watch person".
The Center has three different programs that people can participate in.
One is the "Wind Drinker" 1,000 program. For a donation of $100.00 your name, or a loved ones name, will be added to a plaque and will be permenently displayed at the Center. You will also receive a beautiful 8 x 10 photograph of Pryor Horses running, and a frameable Certificate.This year we are pleased to announce our new 2012 Wind Drinker Photograph which was taken back in 2001 by Reverend Floyd Schwieger. We feel that using his photograph is just one way to honor his passion and dedication that he had for the Pryor Wild Horses. He always said, "When wild horses run, they look like they're drinking the wind."
The Center has recently added a membership program. For a donation of $30.00 you can be proud to be a member of the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center. You will receive our own designed membership card, a logo magnet, several post cards of Pryor Mountain wild mustangs, and 10% off of all gift shop purchases.
The Foster Horse program is another way to support the Center. The Center is committed to preserving the Pryor Mountain Wild Horses. In order to achieve this goal, the lands of the Pryfor Mountain Wild Horse Range must be preserved as well. We invit you to participate in these goals by joining this Foster Program. For a donation of $30.00, supporters will receive a foster packet for the available horse of their choice. The donations will will be directly applied to range improvement projects that will help ensure the health of the wild horses.
The Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range Foster Horse Program packet contains a beautiful 8" X 10" color photograph of the horse as well as a certificate suitable for framing and pertinent information on the horse.
You can contact the Center for further information, or visit our website at:www.pryormustangs.org