“…so wondrous wild, the whole might seem
the scenery of a fairy dream” ~Walter Scott
The McCullough Peaks Herd Management Area near Cody, Wyoming is a magical area! I didn’t know the horses so I had no preconceived ideas of who or what they were, and when we found a group of close to 100 head moving together with all different colors, shapes, sizes, and personalities it was like finding a vein of unmined gold.
The McCullough Peaks HMA (Herd Management Area) is located 12 to 27 miles east of Cody (70 miles east of Yellowstone National Park) and encompasses 109,814 acres of land, including the McCullough Peaks Wilderness Study Area.
The climate is typical of a cold desert with annual precipitation averaging five to nine inches. Stock reservoirs and intermittent streams fed by winter snows and spring runoff provide adequate water for the HMA. Topography is highly variable, ranging from mostly flat to slightly rolling foothills carved by drainages, to colorful badlands and desert mountains featuring steep slopes, cliffs and canyons. The area is surrounded by barbed wire to keep animals off from the highway and also grazing areas are separated by barbed wire fences and often gates are left open for the various bands to move between grazing areas to reach water, but there is plenty of wide open spaces for the horses to roam and for us humans to have to look hard for them. In fact, one of the vistas in the area that we had the incredible pleasure of viewing together literally took my breath away and not a fence to be seen!
This small and mighty stallion that we nicknamed Pistolero, (on the right in this image) who I believe is called Signal by the group that partner with the BLM to help manage this HMA. The group is called Friends of Legacy, www.friendsofalegacy.org, Friends of a Legacy and work right alongside the local BLM field office to maintain this beautiful herd of wild horses.
We will be donating directly to that group from the sale of this image.
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