Friends of a Legacy (F.O.A.L.) was founded in April 2005 by four dedicated Cody, Wyoming residents committed to preserving and protecting the wild horse herd living in the McCullough Peaks, located 12 to 27 miles east of Cody and encompassing 109,814 acres of land.
In 2006 FOAL was granted non-profit 501 (c)(3) status by the IRS and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the BLM for “…coordination and cooperation between the BLM and FOAL on opportunities for public education, to enhance the habitat for all creatures living within the McCullough Peaks Wild Horse HMA, and to assist the BLM in managing the wild horses in the McCullough Peaks herd.”
Keeping these horses wild and free continues to be the mission of our ten dedicated board members and Executive Director, and we are thankful for the generous donations of our loyal support base which enable us to complete our projects.
To protect and preserve the wild horses of the McCullough Peaks.
- Provide the public with educational opportunities to learn about the wild mustangs and their habitat.
- To enhance the habitat for all creatures living within the McCullough Peaks Wild Horse Herd Management Area (HMA).
- Work with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to effectively manage the McCullough Peaks Range.
FUTURE WILD HORSE INTERPRETIVE CENTER & TRAIL:
In 2006 FOAL purchased 160 acres of land which is bordered on three sides by federally owned public land that comprises a part of the McCullough Peaks Wild Horse Herd Management Area (HMA). This land will be the site of our future Wild Horse Interpretive Center.
FOAL then built informational signs at five entrance points within the HMA; and in 2011, Northwest College graphic design students collaborated with FOAL to create nine panels to be installed along the Interpretive Trail within FOAL’s 160 acre property.
Interpretive Trail Signs
PROVIDING LIFE-SUSTAINING WATER:
Generous donations and grants have enabled us to erect two watering systems in two separate pastures within the HMA. At each water site a well has been drilled, a windmill installed to pump the water, and two watering tanks have been placed. The first tank provides water for large animals such as wild horses, antelope, deer, and cattle. The second tank provides water within a fenced “exclosure” where birds and small mammals have protective cover from the naturally growing sagebrush.
In 2012, a new partnership between the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Cody Field Office, Marathon Oil Corporation and Friends of a Legacy (FOAL) made great strides toward improving water sources for the benefit of wild horses, wildlife and livestock inside the McCullough Peaks Wild Horse HMA.
A weed control program has also been implemented, targeting Salt Cedar and Russian Olive, two invasive species which drink up copious amounts of water.
MANAGING THE POPULATION:
The Cody BLM Field Office has taken the lead in fertility control and tracking, and FOAL is its greatest supporter. Native PZP (Porcine Zona Pellucida) has a proven 95% efficacy rate in preventing pregnancy in wild mares, using field darting techniques. This method of fertility control is cost effective, humane, safe, reversible, and has proven to be a useful tool in managing wild horse populations. Two FOAL board members have become certified “darters” and hope to aid the BLM with future fertility control of our local herds. Our goal is to maintain strong genetic diversity in the herd and minimize the need for future gathers or round-ups.
FOAL members also help conduct on-going tracking of the herd genetics, monitor traffic counters on the BLM roads in the Herd Management Area, record the amount of water available, and have kept records on the horses for the past 15 years.