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The Institute of Range and the American Mustang (IRAM) founded in 1988, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization registered in the State of South Dakota. Grants, donations and a summer tourism program support IRAM. the goals of the organization are as follows: ANIMAL WELFARE: To create and maintain a sanctuary for America's unadoptable wild horses providing them with a safe and well-managed environment. Fences, gates and corrals are always in need of repair and upkeep to keep the horses secure and on the property. Providing enough hay for the horses makes it necessary to raise and purchase hay in order to produce enough volume to feed the animals over the winter. The Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary has given the wild horss that make there home there ten thousand years of freedom... HUMAN SERVICES: To create an organization, which will aid and assist in community development. IRAM's Volunteer Program is action-oriented and allows for community involvement by enlisting the cooperation and support of business and individuals. volunteers have been vital to the success of the Sanctuary since its early days. People from all walks of life have come to lend a hand in building and repairing fences and corrals, planting and creating wildlife habitat and feeding areas, developing and maintaining the Nature Trail and assisting in the Visitor's Center. Their busy hands and minds help to stretch the dollars to keep the Sanctuary operating. Now, thanks to the financial assistance from the Kind World Foundation there is a fully functional two-bedroom log cabin to house the volunteers during their stay. We also have RV hook up sites. ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS: To develop conservation programs to improve wildlife habitat and range conditions. IRAM's theories of land management include diversified land use, preservation, and restoration of land and waterways back to a natural state of balancing the ecosystem. One example of effective wildlife management is to keep sections of the land isolated in order to bring back native plants and animals to the area. The public is given access to only 10% of the Sanctuary's land by way of a guided bus tour. the rest of the land remains untouched in its natural state, though observable from a distance. EDUCATION: to educate the public regarding the evolution of the wild horse, and its contribution to the White and Native American destinies. The Summer Internship Program funded by the Helen close Charitable Foundation was started in the summer of 1998, to give students from the univeristy of Nevada in Reno an oportunity to study the wild horses and other plant and wildlife found at the Sanctuary. Each year thousands of people come to see the wild horses running free, learn about the history of the Native Americans and the early pioneers that have lived on the land, visit the ancient petroglyphs and be a part of a true wilderness experience.
Over 300 wild mustangs run free on 11,000 acres of pristine wind swept prairie. A place where this symbol of our western heritage can live free, run free, and die free. Where these living legends can roam free, not forced into existing in hot, dusty, crowded feedlots. Endless prairies roll out before them as they gallop for the sheer joy of living! A place where the highest peaks overlook the Cheyenne River, which is part of their playground. A place that is befitting this national treasure, that is worthy to be their final resting place, when their life here is over. Free to become one with the wind and the sky.
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