Newly confirmed Department of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland Brings New Awareness of Western Issues to the Interior Department

Rep. Debra Haaland (D-N.M.) was confirmed as Interior Secretary recently, becoming the first Native American to lead the agency and the first to hold a Cabinet-level position. She is a member of the Laguna Pueblo, and in 2018, Haaland and Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kan.) became the first Native American women elected to Congress. Her background in New Mexico and familiarity with wild horse issues gives NMACO hope for new vision and plans for humane wild horse management.

Mustang Camp helps wild horses and burros transition to captivity
Scientific data, research and innovation can improve the Iives of wild horses and range management.

Mustang Camp, headed by Patricia Irick, Ph.D., has been taming and training formerly wild equines since 2009. Dr. Irick believes that science provides the tools to guide the animals through this transition with little trauma. The organization has trained and adopted out more than 600 horses, using non-adversarial, positive reinforcement methods. Trained mustangs are more likely to be successfully adopted into domestic lives. See more at

As part of its ongoing collaboration with Mesa Verde National Park to humanely gather the wild horses illegally roaming the Park, NMACO hopes to transport the wild horses to Mustang Camp for taming, training and adoption and continues the fund raising efforts toward that goal.

NMACO sees great potential for wild horse population control in a new, remote contraceptive delivery and tracking system developed by Wildlife Protection Management.

Roch Hart, a retired police detective, founded Wildlife Protection Management (WPM) out of necessity. Over the course of a decade managing a 20,000-acre ranch of extremely rugged terrain and home to bands of wild horses competing for water and forage, Roch developed a deep understanding of the challenges of maintaining sustainable populations of free-roaming horse and wildlife. As his interest in wild horses grew, he developed a concept for WPM’s Remote Wildlife Vaccine Delivery System and enlisted the help of technology experts to bring it to fruition. Roch founded WPM with Frank Drewitt, Jim Pulido and Jonathan West in 2017 and WPM’s Remote Wildlife Vaccine Delivery System was born. WPM maintains that the patented, groundbreaking approach to achieving population goals in wild and feral animals is the most humane, safe and efficient solution ever created, one that preserves species and habitats. Not only does it deliver vaccines and contraceptives remotely, monitor health and track animals’ locations, it captures critical data on individual animals, their group and their management. Roch’s vision to better manage and thus protect free-roaming horses has the potential to help wildlife managers throughout the world achieve sustainable populations in many different species. NMACO has promoted the WPM system to BLM herd area managers. See more at

Three Questions
Don Coyhis, author of Meditations with Native American Elders states there are three important questions people should ask themselves: “Who am I?, Why am I?, and Where am I going?” This is a valuable exercise for humans but in stretching our imagination, how would an American Mustang answer these questions?

Who am I? Well, I am horse. My ancestors roamed this globe millions of years ago. Humans discovered our versatility and value and began utilizing our strength instead of eating us. My royal title of mustang, or wild horse, has many meanings for humans but I simply see myself as the best of the best. They say my DNA shows fancy European warmbloods, draft stock, ranch stock and a variety of strong and noble breeds. I am independent, tough, flexible and creative in the ways one needs to survive. When domesticated I can do almost anything from dressage to keeping our armed forces and borders safe. My feet are like iron and my heart is unstoppable. When treated with kindness I will return it. I am part of the very fabric and soul of this country.

Why am I? I am as important as everything and everyone who inhabits this earth. I am a stunning creature and ask no more than to be allowed a simple existence of peace and purpose.

Where am I going? I guess this depends on humankind. Over the years humans have taken much of our space and habitat. While “managing” us they often run us into the ground with frantic round-ups and inhumane gathers. Those of us who survive are often shipped to crowded pens left to live the rest of our existence far from wilderness or open spaces. Sometimes we are adopted and given good homes and purpose. Unfortunately, we are all too frequently adopted by humans who know nothing about our nature and these relationships do not end well. Where we go is, at this point in time, uncertain.

The American Mustang. Together we can help craft an answer to where these horses are “going.” NMACO works diligently to save and preserve these beautiful animals. We hope you will join us in this effort.

NMACO is committed to the protection and best management of wild horses. Your continued support and generosity has helped us fulfill our mission in being advocates for the many wild ones facing uncertain futures. Please update your membership or consider making a donation for the wild horses.


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