Colonial Spanish horses were first introduced in the coastal regions of San Diego County by settlement of missions and ranches. Further inland, Cahuillan pictographs of mounted Spaniards at the north end of Coyote Canyon (La Puerta) indicate the early expedition of Pedro Feges in 1772 or Anza in 1774.
This band of Native Americans made their home in Coyote Canyon and surrounding mountains along the NE Corner of San Diego and bordering Riverside counties. Long before western settlement a tributary of Coyote Canyon was named Horse Canyon after the residing herd. During the infamous 1851 Garra revolt and raid on Warner’ Ranch the Cahuilla’s added more cattle and horses to their Coyote Canyon herd. According to author Lester Reed, at the turn of the century, Native Wrangler Carlos Moreno referred to the canyon horses as “The Ranch Ramuda”. Bands of the herd ranged east and west as far as Beauty Mountain, into the surrounding mountain valleys. Indian ranching continued in the Canyon until the late 1970’s when California State Parks expanded the Anza Borrego Desert State Park. The Federal designated Coyote Canyon herd area was “zeroed out” and the herd was removed by the park in 2003.
With the assistance of Ca. Senator Bill Morrow and the Bureau of Land Management, Coyote Canyon Caballos d’Anza rescued four of the Wild Stallions with the BLM promise that the herd could be restored pending acquisition of an alternative sanctuary. In January 09 rare wild Spanish Foundation mares were acquired to re establish, maintain and preserve a unique gene pool.
As the only Heritage Herd of Spanish Horses in San Diego County, and the last wild herd in Southern California, the Coyote Canyon horses represent a vanishing element of our local pioneering landscape.
In 1971 Congress unanimously declared that wild free roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West that enrich the lives of the American People. They were to be managed on their historic and native ranges.
The Coyote Canyon herd’s vital legacy of cultural, educational, aesthetic, and inspirational benefits should be maintained as our heritage and the inheritance for future generations.
With the 1966 passage of the Nation Historic Preservation Act “Congress declared that the spirit and direction of the Nation are founded upon, and reflected in, its historic heritage.” This includes identification, documentation, curation, acquisition, protection, management, rehabilitation, restoration, stabilization, maintenance and reconstruction, or any combination of the foregoing activities. Grants are available to accomplish these noble endeavors.
The Coyote Canyon Herd was sequestered for more than two centuries from other wild horse herds. As a result they evolved into a distinct population segment. This evolution meets the criteria of both state and federal statutes of endangered and threatened species.
1. “Endangered” when its survival and reproduction in the wild are in immediate jeopardy from one or more causes, including loss of habitat, change in habitat, over exploitation, predation, competition, disease, or other factors; or
2. “Rare” when either: Although not presently threatened with extinction, the species is existing in such small numbers throughout all or a significant portion of its range that it may become endangered if its environment worsens; or
3. The species is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range and may be considered “threatened” as that term is used in the Federal Endangered Species Act.
Coyote Canyon Caballos d’Anza was formed as a 501 3c to acquire a permanent local herd area as sanctuary on Federal lands. This was overlooked in the 1971 inventory of their native ranges resulting in a defective land management plan.
The currently vacant Beauty Mountain grazing allotment and contiguous BLM acquisitions would correct the defection. It is within the newly passed California Desert and Mountain Heritage Act.
The 1945 California Riding and Hiking Trail, California’s first legislated trail, lies within the allotment and provides the public opportunity to experience this unique part of California history. Restoration of the Coyote Canyon horses and the Trail would maintain both historic icons NOW, and into the future.
HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP THE COYOTE CANYON HERITAGE HERD
- PLEASE JOIN THE SUPPORT GROUP FOR THE COYOTE CANYON HERITAGE HERD HERE
- PLEASE COPY and PASTE THE FOLLOWING LETTER, and SEND IN EMAIL TO THE FOLLOWING DECISION MAKERS:
Congressman Darrell Issa’s Chief of Staff EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
San Diego County Board of Supervisors, Chair of Board Bill Horn EMAIL: email@example.com
Salvatore Giametta EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pam Slater EMAIL: email@example.com
Greg Cox EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
Riverside Board of Supervisors EMAIL: email@example.com
COPY AND PASTE THE FOLLOWING LETTER BETWEEN THE 2 ROWS OF ASTERISKS
Honorable Decision Makers:
Coyote Canyon Caballos d’Anza, a 501 C 3 was organized to repatriate the last Heritage Herd of wild horses to its native habitat and foster access to the coinciding California Riding and Hiking trail between San Diego and Riverside counties. We are requesting assistance from both counties in the form of Heritage declaration. This would serve the public interest best while providing local governing bodies with the ability to compel federal agencies to coordinate with them.
The Coyote Canyon Heritage Herd are extinct in the wild. We salvaged the only four wild stallions left in San Diego County of Spanish Colonial Horses representing a cultural evolution predating 1776-2003. Time is running out for our ability to maintain this herd in confined quarters. They need to be wild and free roaming as much as we need them to be. They represent our own freedom and right of access to the public domain.
Repatriation of this Herd is mandated by multiple laws including National Historic Preservation Act, Rare, threatened and endangered species of special interest (ESA), Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act ( 1971 Herd area as critical habitat) Multiple Species Habitat Conservation, and Public Trust Doctrine.
An interesting history of the our foundation mares can be viewed at:
A quote from the article states “What makes the Sulphur Horses unique is that they are probably the only horses in existence representing the Spanish Horse of colonial southern California. They are descended from the most recent, in historical time, introduction of pure Spanish Horses into the wild.”
The author of this December 1995 article, Ron Roubidoux, was likely unaware of the Garra Revolt at Warner Springs Ca. in 1850, or previous and subsequent events that resulted in the Colonial Spanish horses in Coyote Canyon. This Quote is from When the great spirit died: the destruction of the California by William B. Secrest -2002 – “Scouts sent out by the volunteers discovered a large force of Indians, together with much of Warner’s livestock, located in Los Coyotes Canyon. ”
BLM Director Henri Bisson must have been unaware of this also when he signed the http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/palmsprings/southcoastrmp.html which neglected to ensure the herd’s 1971 area as critical habitat
Open range existed in most of southern California’s backcountry and is still unfenced on most of the1971 historic ranges of the Coyote Canyon Herd. Regulation provides for the current Resource Management plan be amended to repatriate this Heritage Herd to its native ranges. There are several vacant BLM/USFS allotments in the area adjacent to the Vista Irrigation District (,original Warner Spanish Land Grant) that also qualify. Wildlife habitat restoration grants are available that could assist with habitat management to accomodate this small herd while improving grazing resources. This is an excellent opportunity to proceed with the original BLM offer of partnership which fosters group, local gov. and federal partnerships.
Several years ago we, Coyote Canyon Caballos d Anza nominated the Coyote Canyon Herd Area as a Historic District to the Federal Register. The major obstruction was California’s all powerful Dept of Resources and party politics. Our Heritage should NEVER be used as a political battering ram, and, as a matter of National Interest the attached document will be viewed in D.C.
Please make a formal declaration to acknowledge our unique Coyote Canyon Heritage Herd for repatriation.
On behalf of our wild horses, thank you.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON HOW YOU CAN HELP THE BEAUTIFUL AND RARE COYOTE CANYON HERITATE HORSES PLEASE CONTACT KATHLEEN HAYDEN.
Coyote Canyon Caballos D’Anza
PO Box 236
Santa Ysabel, Ca 92070
Phone 760 782 3340