Oklahoma ranch offers up-close look at wild horses

December 21, 2017
In this Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017 photo, wild horses are pictured at the Mowdy Ranch Ecosanctuary near Coalgate, Okla. One-hundred-fifty mares, relocated from over-crowded public lands in Nevada, are under the protection of the Bureau of Land Management. The ecosantuary program's aim is to educate the public about the wild horses, and foster interest in it's adoption program. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

COALGATE, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma ranch offers visitors an up-close look at wild horses through a federal program aimed at protecting the symbols of the American West but also managing public land for multiple uses.

Mowdy Ranch in Coalgate is one of the Bureau of Land Management’s three ecosanctuaries for mustangs. The BLM’s Debbie Collins, with the agency’s horse and bureau program, says it houses 150 mares relocated from Nevada.

Collins says the horses have 1,280 acres (518 hectares) of pastureland to graze. They are provided with hay in the winter.

Tours are available, and visitors can stay on site. Lodging options include two bunk rooms, four motel-style rooms and a common area with a kitchen.

The BLM estimates there are 73,000 wild horses and burros on lands that can sustain under 27,000.