Lovell Attractions – Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center
When you are at our ranch in Lovell, Wyoming, you will have the opportunity to visit one of the most unique sites in the United States. Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center is located at the edge of the Pryor Mountains Wild Horse Range, home to the one of the country’s largest wild mustang herds. Pryor Mountains Wild Horse Range is comprised of 29,650 acres stretching across Montana and Wyoming. Its terrain is rugged and varied, sometimes hilly and mean, sometimes flat and meandering. Wild mustangs find refuge in this vast tract of wilderness, just like they have for hundreds of years. Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center is located only a mile from downtown Lovell, Wyoming.
Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center History
By the turn of the twentieth century, wild horses were becoming increasingly rare. Cattle and sheep competed with them for grazing land, a fact that would lead to a dramatic decrease in their numbers during the 1930s. The United States Grazing Service along with the Forest Service were concerned with the impact wild horses were having on rangeland, so they began a process to remove all wild horses from public lands.
Mustangs Culled On Public Lands
Starting in 1934, the Grazing Service and the Forest Service hired contract hunters to cull the wild horse herd. This practice, which lasted until 1963, resulted in the decimation of wild horse herds. Often, the animals were hunted from ATVs or helicopters, driving them into a panic and causing numerous injuries to horses which were not killed outright.
Velma Vonn Johnston Saves the Mustangs
Velma Vonn Johnston, also known as Wild Horse Annie, was an advocate for wild horses starting in the mid-1950s. Her efforts resulted in passage of the Hunting Wild Horses and Burros on Public Lands Act, the first major piece of legislation addressing the plight of America’s mustangs. This act banned motor vehicles being used during wild horse hunts. Still, Annie was not satisfied. She realized that without a permanent sanctuary, the wild mustangs would almost certainly disappear from the American West.
Steward Udall Establishes Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range
The voices of Wild Horse Annie and others grew louder throughout the 1960s. Much of the efforts of these brave wild horse advocates centered around a Bureau of Land Management plan to remove a herd in the Pryor Mountain area. Local resistance to the plan was very strong, and soon regional and even national coverage brought pressure on Secretary of the Interior Steward Udall to do something. In late 1968, he finally created the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range. The range was to cover all that acreage where wild horses were known to live in 1971.
Lovell, Wyoming Ranch Vacations
If you want to know more about the spirit that makes the West great, visit the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center while enjoying your cattle ranch vacation in Lovell. There, you can see what a little gumption and a lot of love can get accomplished. Call us today
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