top of page


  • Q: What is a freeze mark?
    A: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) uses freeze marking to identify captured wild horses and burros. Freeze marking is a permanent and unalterable way to identify each horse and burro as an individual. It is applied on the left side of the neck and follows the International Alpha Angle System, which uses a series of angles and alpha symbols. Freeze marks contain the Registering Organization (U.S. Government), year of birth, and registration number. The technique is said to be painless to the animal. First, the left side of the neck is shaved and washed with alcohol, then the mark is applied with an iron chilled in liquid nitrogen. The hair at the site of the mark grows back white to show the mark.
  • Q: Why are wild horses and burros being taken off the range?
    It depends who you ask. The federal agencies charged with managing these animals on public lands, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and US Forest Service (USFS) cite reasons such as concerns about wild horses and burros starving or dying of thirst due to lack of wild forage or available water, and/or causing environmental degradation. However, our research, and the research of many other wild horse and burro advocates, has shown that in the small number of cases where this can be shown to be true, this is due to competition for forage and water from industrially managed livestock on those same public rangelands, despite their legal obligation to protect the wild horses and burros on these lands through the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971. In other words, federally subsidized private and corporate ranchers are using up the natural resources, that wild horses and burros require in order to survive and thrive on public lands, by grazing their non-native species (domestic cows and sheep) in the kind of industrial numbers that is destroying the land, and then falsely blaming the wild horses and burros for this environmental degradation. In the last 50 years, around 80% of the habitat that wild horses and burros ought to be legally protected to roam freely on, has been leased off to polluting and extractive industrial practices. While livestock grazing is responsible for the majority of this systematic land grab (in some areas cattle outnumber wild horses and burros on public lands by 125:1), other industries that have displaced the wild horses and burros over the last few decades include the oil and natural gas (fracking) companies and the mining of copper, gold, and lithium. See our page Land Grabs for more research on all of this. There are also many other factors that impact rangeland health which are rarely mentioned by the BLM and USFS. These include off road vehicles, big game hunting, climate change caused drought, wildfires, and the spread of non-native plant species as a result of decades of poor land management by these same agencies. Every one of these environmentally degrading factors could be mitigated by the presence of native wild horses and burros if they were being supported to live freely in their ancestral lands as the keystone species and ecosystem engineers that they are known to be.
  • More FAQ's coming soon...
    In the meantime, please email us on with your questions!
  • Q: What is a wild horse/mustang or wild burro/donkey?
    A: Wild horses (aka mustangs), and wild donkeys (aka burros) are defined by federal law as those horses and donkeys that make up the wild herds roaming freely on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or US Forest Service (USFS) administered public lands in the western United States. These animals are mostly considered to be descendants of horses and donkeys that were released by, or escaped from, Spanish explorers, ranchers, miners, and/or the US Cavalry between the 1600-1800's. Wild horses and burros are generally considered to be "feral", rather than wild, despite the 1971 Act of Congress that was designed to protect them on public lands referring to them specifically as "Wild Free -Roaming Horses and Burros". There is also contention around the term feral as equids are now known to be an indigenous species to the Americas, and the modern horse (both wild and domesticated) has been shown to be a direct descendant of Equus Caballus, the most recent species to have originated in the US from the genus Equus. Recent evidence suggests that wild equids, which includes donkeys as well as horses, existed in the Americas long before the arrival of the Spanish. Further, some of these ancient horses, known as the Indigenous Horse of the Americas, survived the Ice Age and remained present on North American soil (prior to the continent being named as such), after the Ice Age. Those horses are thought to have interbred with the rewilded European horses brought over by the Spanish over many generations. You can read more about all of this research, and more, on our page Native Species. In the US, the wild free roaming horses found on public lands are called mustangs, a word derived from the Spanish "mesteño", meaning "wild" or "unclaimed", and the wild free roaming donkeys are called "burros", the Spanish word for donkey.
  • Q: Why are you against the use of fertility control?
    Despite claims to the contrary by some wild horse advocates who are in favor of their use, PZP and GonaCon ARE ‘restricted-use pesticides" with clear warnings to "not expose children, pets, or other non-target animals to this product". There is a wealth of evidence to show that these products sterilize wild horses after multiple uses, result in risky foal birth out of season (foals born in wintertime when resources are low and they are not biologically designed to cope with freezing temperatures), and significant behavioral changes that can affect the overall health of the herd. You can read more about our research on this, and find several links providing scientific evidence, on our page Roundups.
  • Q: Didn't donkeys originate in Africa?
    No, donkeys (burros) originated on the continent now known as North America, along with the entire family of Equidae which includes all species of equid living today. You can read more about this on our page Native Species which includes links to archeological, paleontological, biological, and historical research.
  • Q: What is regenerative agriculture?
    Regenerative agriculture is a land management philosophy that has its roots in indigenous and native ways of living on and with the land. Its main focus is on implementing practices designed to improve soil health by reversing degradation, and building up the soil microbiome. Regenerative agriculture strives to work with nature rather than against it. It is more than just being sustainable and it does not have a specific or rigid set of practices but is more of a mindset or philosophy around working regeneratively with animals and the land. To be successful, regenerative land management practices must be adaptive to each unique operation, to the area of land being managed, to the climate, and to constantly changing conditions. Regenerative agricultural practices are in complete contrast to the extractive approach of modern industrial agriculture. Although regenerative agriculture doesn’t have a specific recipe, many regenerative farmers and ranchers will adopt some or all of the following practices: Planting crops using no-till, to minimize disturbance to the soil Incorporating cover crops and other diverse mixtures of forage species into monoculture crops and perennial introduced grasses Decreasing the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides Using adaptive multi-paddock grazing (AMP, or adaptive grazing) by moving pastured animals (sheep, goats, turkeys, bison, cows, horses, donkeys, pigs) through smaller sections of the overall land, and allowing grazed land adequate rest and recovery. While they may not have always called it “regenerative agriculture,” people have been practicing this type of management for centuries. In fact, regenerative agriculture asks land stewards and agricultural producers to care for and manage the land in a way that more closely mimics nature, a practice known as "biomimicry". This is because nature already provides all of the necessary foundations (soil, water, natural fertilization, and sunshine) for agriculture. All we need to support health and regeneration is to understand how to work with nature to maximize these natural ecosystem processes. In progress... Most leading approaches to regenerative agriculture view the meat, milk, hides, and other byproducts of these practices as core products of that regeneratively farmed land. ruminants cattle as an indispensable part of the nutrient cycle of productive landscapes. Their grazing activity rely mostly on the use of grazing animals to promote the growth of plant roots that sequester carbon and to return necessary nutrients to soils through manure, and Animal-based regenerative agriculture is focused on prioritizing soil health as both an indicator of ecosystem restoration and an engine of carbon sequestration. However, for farmers and land stewards willing and able to consider taking the transition one step farther, there are many plant-based solutions for improving and regenerating degraded soils with or without the presence of grazing animals. In a no-till system working primarily or only with plants, cover crops such as alfalfa and clover can perform the all-important regenerative functions of protecting the soil surface against sun and erosion, sending down deep roots that stabilize topsoil, and sequestering carbon below ground. These green manure silage crops can coexist with row crops like corn and wheat.



If you don't see an answer to your question,

please let us know. We are happy to help!

IMG_9355 2.jpg

“When we try to pick out anything by itself,

we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.”


John Muir

bottom of page