Organizational Meeting for Piceance Mustangs
Saturday February 17th was a momentous occasion for the Piceance Mustangs. An organizational meeting was held in Meeker at the BLM office to determine public support for a Piceance Mustang group. Tracy and Blaine Scott with Steadfast Steeds did a wonderful job of leading the meeting and keeping it positive and upbeat. We were all pleasantly surprised to have a packed meeting room. The meeting started with a meet and greet. Attendees came from as far away as Peyton, Berthoud, Dolores and Redvale Colorado. TJ Holmes attended from Spring Creek Basin, Stella Trueblood from SWAT Sand Wash Basin and Cindy Leinberger from Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Range. Attendees from Meeker represented conservation, ranching, BLM, and wild horse advocates. It was inspiring to see everyone coming together to find ways to help on the Piceance range. Tracy spoke about the goal of the group which is “long term maintenance of a viable horse herd on healthy rangelands” and working with BLM to achieve these goals. Our work with the BLM will be focused on cataloging the herd, improving and spreading out water locations on the range, initiating darting for birth control, fixing fence and assisting with gathers and adoptions. The initial paperwork to create the Piceance Mustang group was filed with the state at the end of January. We also filed paperwork for 501 (c) 3 status and I am pleased to announce just received confirmation a few days ago March 17th that we have been granted 501 (c) 3 status. The organizational structure of the group was discussed at the meeting and consists of a governing board, advisory board and members. Currently the board is Tracy Scott President, Diane Mobley Vice President and Kathy DeGonia secretary/treasurer. Tracy also reviewed membership fees and forms $20.00 for a individual membership and $25.00 for a family membership annually and how the monies will be utilized. Melissa Kendall Range Technician with the BLM did a presentation regarding water improvements and fencing projects on the range. TJ Homes gave a brief talk regarding pzp, and Jim Hyrup talked about a potential fundraiser showing Ben Masters film “Unbranded”. Kent Walter Field Manager with White River Field Office fielded some difficult questions posed by attendees. John Boughton also addressed the group regarding his family history of growing up in Rangely. Jim Dollerschell with BLM spoke about Friends of the Mustangs and the importance of volunteer hours and working together to create and manage a successful range. The meeting was adjourned and people had the opportunity to mingle, become members and sign up for board positions. A range tour was the finale with Ben Smith and Melissa leading the group. People that attended the tour were rewarded by viewing 18 wild horses, a perfect ending to a great day! Thank you to all who attended and we are excited to move forward with a barbeque and work weekend on May 5th and 6th. We are currently recruiting members and filling board positions. Please contact us if you are interested in membership or serving on the board! WE NEED YOU!