Imagining how the landscape for my film would look required more research and further understanding of which parts of America the Burro of Land Management controlled wild horses. Below is a map showing how many acres of land the American government own. According to the Congressional Research Service, the total area of land is administered by four federal government agencies, The National Park Service, The Bureau of Land Management, The Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of Agriculture.
The BLM has established Herd Management Areas to determine where horses are sustained as free-roaming populations. More than half of all free-roaming mustangs in North America are found in Nevada. The significant populations reside in a large area spanning from Utah’s Wasatch Range to California’s Sierra Nevada.
‘Mustang’, is the term used for the free roaming horses of the American West. The horses have descended from horses brought to the Americas by the Spanish during the 1500’s. The original mustangs were Colonial Spanish horses, but as they flourished in the regions of North America where they first settled, they mostly disappeared. Most of Mustangs in America today are found in the Great Basin, and descend from unclaimed ranch horses and cavalry horses released into Western United States. Although, a portion of free roaming horses found in isolated population, are relatively unchanged from the original Spanish stock.
The Great Basin is a large area in North America that spans across Nevada, Oregon, Utah, California, Idaho and Wyoming. The area contains multiple deserts and Ecoregion’s, each with its own distinctive features of flora and fauna. The Great Basin overlaps four different deserts, the Hot Mojave, Colorado, the Cold Great Basin and the Oregon High.
Each desert can be distinguished by their plants, The Joshua tree and the creosote bush occur in the hot deserts, which the colder deserts have neither. The flora depends on the elevation of the land, as the height increases the precipitation increases and the temperature decreases. This results in forests occurring at higher levels. Southern regions have single- leaf pinyons and mountain mahogany is found in Northern Regions. Pinyon Juniper woodland is found on the slopes of most ranges.
The U.S Environmental Protection Agency divides the Great Basin into three Ecoregion’s according to latitude: The Northern Basin and Range Ecoregion, The Central Basin and Range Ecoregion and the Mojave Basin and Range Ecoregion. Each region has distinct features that have formed due to the climate and latitude.
Wild Horses can be found in herds all across the Great Basin. However the majority of the population is found in the Western deserts of Nevada and Arizona. The habitats are rough, sparse and rocky in terrain. The habitat is made up of mostly shrubs such as Sagebrush, which forces the horses to feed at higher elevations.
I feel that taking the time to research into the factors of the landscape is important. I want the landscape, the poem and the animation to work hand in hand, so that I can achieve the right feel throughout the film.
Freedom, G. (2019). Get the facts about BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Program – Return to Freedom. [online] Return to Freedom. Available at: https://returntofreedom.org/facts/ [Accessed 11 Feb. 2019].
Big Think. (2019). Just How Much Land Does the Federal Government Own — and Why?. [online] Available at: https://bigthink.com/strange-maps/291-federal-lands-in-the-us [Accessed 9 Feb. 2019].
Wild Mountain Echoes. (2019). Across the Great Basin Album. [online] Available at: https://www.wildmountainechoes.com/albums/across-great-basin-album/ [Accessed 11 Feb. 2019].
Animals.mom.me. (2019). Habitat of a Wild Mustang. [online] Available at: https://animals.mom.me/habitat-wild-mustang-4549.html [Accessed 11 Feb. 2019].