Robert Bauer

My name is Robert Bauer, born in Chicago , Illinois and raised in northern Indiana. I spent much of my early years around horses, working part time on a quarter horse farm across the road where we lived. With free access to the horses, I had the opportunity to spend many long hours up in the hills behind my parents residence trail riding, usually aboard a former mustang by the name of Happy Alice, this occurring into my teens and early twenties. As long as I can remember I have had a interest and love for wildlife along with my family, especially my mother, who was a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. Our interest and love extended towards the mustangs. This love and interest was fueled by the writings of Hope Ryden as well as other authors, from which came a deep desire to experience the wild horses of America, especially those of the Pryor Mountains.

It wasn’t until my 36th year that I began pursuing a degree in biology, with marine biology and mammology initially in mind. I completed a Bachelors Degree in Biology, while raising a family, still with America’s wild horses deep in my heart. Eventually in Aug. of 2009 the opportunity to experience the Pryor Mountains and its mustangs occurred, also being a witness to the Bureau of Land Managements mustang gather, executed in early Sept. of 2009. As a result, this has fueled further studies on my part concerning the mustangs, not only concerning the historical and aesthetic aspects of the horses, but especially their ecological benefit to the range areas where they are found as well as to its wildlife. In October of 2009 I was involved in a research expedition of the Calico Mountain Complex with mustang census, mustang physical condition, and range condition being the targets of research and documentation on film footage.

It has been therefore, as an interested and affected individual, with plans to experience the mustangs of these areas again, and a biologist, to make public those things both witnessed and experienced in these excursions of both the Pryor Mountain HMAs the Calico Mountain HMAs, as well as other areas. It has also been my effort to call into question the Bureau of Land Managements statistical figures and environmental assessments of the Calico Mountain Complex HMAs, as well as other Herd Management Areas and the necessity of the roundups in general.

It must be noted that the redundant cry of the BLM has been to blame the deterioration of the range lands to the mustangs. Any deterioration of the range areas is definitely attributed to cattle grazing whose feeding behavior causes them to tear vegetation out by the root , giving no opportunity for re growth and whose digestive systems bring complete breakdown of the vegetation with very little returning to the soil. One finds through continued cattle grazing on the public lands a breakdown of the topsoil and adverse effects on wildlife as a whole. Countless scientists, including former scientists of the BLM, have documented these detrimental effects of the cattle on the range and its wildlife. As opposed to this it can be proven that the mustangs, through their grazing habits and physiological makeup, actually benefit the ranges vegetation, its wildlife , and overall ecosystem. In addition I have witnessed in the wild very healthy horses and an abundance of good grazing, with adequate water sources for far more mustangs than were present in those areas, again with cattle numbers far beyond that of the mustangs. First hand I experienced the harmony and balance among the mustangs, the close knit family bands, and the orderly fashion in which they carried out their lives.

Nature has been maintaining its balance for thousands of years, without the intervention of human hands. Those mustangs remaining in the wild should be left as such. Those in long and short term holding should be released back to the HMAs that were originally designated to them in 1971, or into equivalent and appropriate western public lands, designated primarily for their use, not into allotted pasture lands called “ sanctuaries” which will prove to be nothing more than zoos, the habitat of which will prove to be detrimental to their health. The mustangs are wild and need to be left as such.

In conclusion it must be stated that the American mustang has been said to be a unique symbol of the United States of America of which it has been said, that there is freedom for all. In experiencing the mustangs in the wild I found very intelligent herds of horses, broken up into family bands, caring for each other, nurturing each other, and protecting each other. They were in perfect peace , harmony and balance with everything and everyone around them, a benefit and not a detriment to the range areas they occupied , by their habits and overall makeup. The freedom we boast of in these United States of America, in its very essence, is about living in harmony and peace with all around us, as well as being a benefit and not a detriment. All this the mustangs have done. They not only typify the freedom of these United States, they live it by example. This symbol of freedom must therefore be allowed to exist in freedom.

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