by Craig C. Downer, Wildlife Ecologist and Author (Date of Publication: 1/18/2012)
This stirring and amply illustrated, 300-page book fully justifies America’s magnificent wild horses and burros while countering the biased machinations against them. Written by an ecologist who grew up observing these animals in the West, it presents new evidence concerning their history and evolution in North America then describes their many positive contributions to soils, plants, animals and people. Though true restorers of this continent’s ecosystem, they have been unfairly targeted for elimination. Over the centuries, they have borne our burdens and helped us along life’s way—which makes it doubly unfair that they should be blamed for what we humans have done. As always, they stand ready to help us do the hard work now so desperately needed to restore our shared home. Many of the author’s personal experiences with these animals, their diverse herd areas, and the multicolored people involved with them are herein vividly shared. Urgently required now at the 40th anniversary of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act is a strategy to reverse the negative schemes that are causing their demise the wild. As described, Reserve Design provides a way for establishing self-stabilizing populations through intelligent and caring programs executed with enthusiasm. Their lesson for humanity concerns how to share freedom and the land with such paragons of nature. Soaring beyond mundane pettiness and with an inspired vision for the future of all life, the elevated perspective and compassionate spirit of this book will prove key to accomplishing its critical goal. In the wild the vigor of any kind is preserved. And the entire horse family—as the Earth itself—needs America’s wild horses and burros to continue at vital levels into the future here in their evolutionary cradle and worldwide.