“The remarkable beauty of one of Louisiana’s best kept secrets is threatened”
Local reporter, Rickie Smith, from The Leesville Leader, has published an article about the unique herds of wild horses seen on Peason Ridge. The article, Wild Horses Embedded in Peason History highlights the uniqueness of the this area and its wildlife, especially the wild horses who have thrived here for over a century. Please take a moment to read and share the article, as well as show your appreciation to Mr. Smith for getting the word out about the unique herds of culturally significant wild horses in Louisiana.
Recap on the Peason Ridge Heritage Tour:
The Peason Ridge Annual Tour, held on March 30th, 2018 was truly amazing. Mr. Rickey Roberson, our tour guide and local historian, shared his extensive knowledge about an area in west central Louisiana, known as Peason Ridge. The Ridge is situated between the Sabine River and the Red River, called the Neutral Zone where Native Americans and settlers traded during precolonial times. We learned the locations of each homestead and what crops they grew. Some of the fruit trees still thrive to this day. We learned where each fresh water spring is located, as well as locations of natural salt licks! These natural resources are still providing key nutrients to the wildlife in the area; such as, the unique herds of gaited wild horses, wild turkeys, bobcats, wild hogs, cougars, black bears and the red-cockaded woodpecker which is classified as endangered, just to name a few.
Wild horses and cattle were driven right across vast un-fenced area of what is now Sabine Parish to the livestock markets in Natchitoches in the 1800’s. (Sabine Parish is only 14 miles from Texas border). Saddle horses and wild horses were documented as being sold in 1800’s estate sale records in the Kisatchie region, where Native Americans traded horses before and into the turn of the century.
One of my favorite parts of the tour was when Mr. Robertson explained to all in attendance that the wild and free roaming horses are the last standing reminders of our ancestors in this vast Louisiana landscape know as Peason Ridge.
Brigadier General Patrick D. Frank, new JRTC Commanding General, kicked off the tour with a speech thanking the Heritage Family members for their sacrifice of loosing their land, which was taken by the Military via imminent domain in 1942, forcing homesteaders to leave.
The tour was escorted by a US Army Captain Jason James. In his opening statement Capt James mentioned how the US Army cares about the environment and preservation of it, as well as the preservation of the old homesteads and artifact areas (most of which are marked with orange stakes). Capt. James even specifically said how they “take care and protect the Red-cockaded Woodpecker, as well as the Horses”.
All in attendance loaded onto an Army bus and spent four hours touring the area. There is so much land to cover and the horses seem so small on this vast Louisiana landscape, its truly breathtaking! The next tour of Peason Ridge is scheduled for October 2018.
In addition to the footage from Peason Ridge, I received several photos from the Drop Zone area of Fort Polk. The video above shows the two distinct areas of concern, which are approx 30 miles apart.
- Peason Ridge
- Main Base / Drop Zone.
The video is rather long but there are so many wonderful pictures that needed to be shared for everyone to see the remarkable beauty of one of Louisiana’s best kept secrets.
The majority of the public is against these wild, free roaming horses being systemically removed from these wildlife areas, where they and their progeny have coexisted in this rich environment for a century . The locals, as well as all who have come to know and appreciate them, view the wild horses as a unique reminder of days gone by in this historic region of precolonial Louisiana.
It is vital that the public CONTINUE to engage decision makers.
Make your voice heard TODAY.
Please take a moment to contact federal and state officials asking them to protect Louisiana’s wild and free roaming horses!
Take action by ALDF
Billy Nungesser, Lieutenant Governor