Because of the unique genetic makeup of the Pryor Mountains Mustang herd, equine geneticist Dr. Gus Cothran concluded in 1992 that “the Pryor herd may be the most significant wild-horse herd remaining in the United True explore wild. In 1900, there were two to five million feral horses in the United States. However, their numbers were in steep decline as domestic cattle and sheep competed with them for resources.
After the mid-1930s, their numbers fell even more drastically due to intervention by the U. It was not clear that there were too many horses, or that the land was incurring damage due to the presence of the horses. Nonetheless, both agencies responded to political pressure to act, and they began to remove hundreds of thousands of feral horses from federal property. Feral horse advocates were unhappy with the Forest Service and BLM’s horse-culling procedures.
However, in 1961 President John F. Kennedy ordered the United States Department of the Interior to implement measures to stop soil erosion on federal land. On the Pryor Mountains range, where there were about 140 to 200 horses, BLM ordered in 1964 that the horses be removed. Congress and the executive branch for their protection on public land.
Johnston and her group had several local allies as well. Montana to remove all the animals and sell them. Establishment of the Pryor Mountains Wild Horse Range did not end debate over the legal status of the horse herd, how they should be protected, or how many horses should be permitted to live on the range. In October 1968, the Interior department established an Advisory Committee to report on the state of the herd, the status of forage on the range, and whether feral horses should continue to be kept on the range.