SWAT is an on-the-range project of the Great Escape Mustang Sanctuary and was formed in 2012, recognizing a need to organize the energy and efforts of individuals and groups in supporting the Sand Wash Basin (SWB) land and wild horses. SWAT is 100% volunteer-driven. Volunteers perform all administrative work, planning and coordination, field work, research, data collection and analyses, marketing and Internet activities. Financial support is provided through membership and/or donations. 100% of every dollar received goes towards advancing SWAT’s mission to, as citizen stewards, support the Sand Wash Basin land and wild horses in collaboration with the BLM. Four core goals support this mission: herd documentation, herd population management, range support, and education/marketing/promotion.
All contributions go directly to the cost of program operations, which includes:
Aleta is a Colorado native, yet saw her first wild mustang in Sand Wash Basin, back in September of 2010. That was a life changing day for her and she has been passionately been involved with the herd since. In order to get to know the individual horses of the herd better, she began creating a database – assigning identification numbers, grouping the family bands and tracking their offspring – all because of her personal interest and use… or so she thought! This process was the start of our current documentation system, which has proven to be quite accurate. Now as the SWAT Program Director, she works directly with the BLM, assisting with coordination around their fertility control program in Sand Wash Basin.
Stella has been photographing and visiting Sand Wash Basin for many years and knows the land, the herds and the individual horses comprehensively. Exploring the back roads and 2-tracks with her sister Angie Seipp, this duo bring an incredible wealth of knowledge to the team. Both Stella and Angie have received a “Remote Delivery of PZP Immunocontraception in Wildlife” Certification from Dr. Jay F. Kirkpatrick after completing the on-site training course at the Science and Conservation Center in Billings, MT in 2014. Stella is the SWAT Field Manager and as the lead darter, works directly with the BLM in darting efforts, as well as trains all new volunteers, teaching them how to apply their darting certification knowledge specifically to strategies of darting in the SWB HMA.
Connie is a native Routt County ranch woman with vast animal and horse experience. When not in Sand Wash Basin volunteering her time, you can find Connie crafting, quilting, beading, yet always with her camera by her side. Growing up, she would accompany her dad on hunting trips and became quickly acquainted with implements. Now, she is putting those skills to use, however in a different way, to dart. Connie enjoys the camaraderie of the SWAT team and spending as much time as she can in SWB amongst the wild ones. Connie received her “Remote Delivery of PZP Immunocontraception in Wildlife” Certification from Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick in 2015 and has been assisting with the darting efforts in SWB since.
Christine, along with her husband Mike, have been photographing and documenting the Sand Wash Basin herd since 2012. As a team they have a great knowledge of the herds and the individual horses. Mike & Chris have also created a software database called “HorseBase” that is utilized to track all of the horses and their bands. Both Chris and Mike have received a “Remote Delivery of PZP Immunocontraception in Wildlife” Certification from Kimberly Frank after completing the on-site training course at the Science and Conservation Center in Billings, MT, in the Spring of 2016, and are now assisting with the darting efforts in SWB.