Michael founded the WindDancer Foundation in the fall of 1996. His first exposure to mustangs came with reading Hope Ryden's book, "America's Last Wild Horses." A chapter entitled "A Mustang Massacre" touched his heart and inspired his creation of the WindDancer Foundation. The focus of the Foundation is to educate the public about the plight of both the mustang and burro roaming on our public lands. Specifically for their needs and the ability to survive on those lands as was intended by the passage of the "Wild Horse & Burro Act of 1971" for generations to come. Yet the Act of 1971 was amended by the “Public Range Improvement Act of 1978 (PRIA)" and has weakened those previous protections. The WindDancer Foundation will educate and provide the leadership quality to become an advocate for these beautiful animals.
Michael traveled to herd areas and herd facilities across several western states in the past years. Seeing these magnificent animals in their natural environment was spectacular. Although of concern was the sharing of designated pastures with cattle or sheep that created hasty and heated debates from those lease holders. Michael did not witness the conflict between cattle, sheep and the mustang population that has been repeatedly expressed by both the ranching permittees and the BLM managers.
However, the holding areas were an extreme disappointment to him. The captive conditions these animals have to endure are deplorable with stagnate water and soiled hay tossed on the ground to eat and no areas for shade or blockage of winter winds or rainfall. These extreme conditions are now health hazards, as the manure piles litter their pen areas and most resemble or are retired feedlots. It seems completely unacceptable for these wild horses of a proud nature to have to endure these captive conditions rather than the thousands of acres they once occupied.
The designated herd areas (HAs) and herd management areas (HMAs) are located in such remote locations that the cattle and sheep sometimes occupy the same space, as the mustangs wander in their daily travels.
Water sources seem to be the most competent factor among the range animals. In some instances and documented, mustangs have been fenced out from the sources of water and those adequate HMA range boundaries have been reconfigured. It is unacceptable for these wild horses and burros to compete for what they had been guaranteed by the "Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971" prior to being amended in 1978 by the “Public Range Improvement Act.” Information regarding these amendments can be found on the "Be an Effective Advocate" page.
The Foundation’s goal is to inspire those interested web site visitors to visit the herd sites in those 10 western states and develop the attitude how invaluable these animals are to this country and to be a citizen spokesman for our public lands. Your involvement with the Foundation’s mission, and the democracy project will enable you to make a fair evaluation. Thus, ensuring these animals can be protected for future generations to come. Please e-mail us for more information at email@example.com.