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Wild horses and ancient fishing presentations featured in September

Wild mustangs of the Spring Creek Basin Herd in Disappointment Valley are healthy and are seeing snowfall on their range. (Courtesy TJ Holmes)

The public is invited to learn about the topics of wild horses and Ancestral Puebloan fishing strategies from the Canyons of the Ancients Visitor Center and Museum and the Four Corners Lecture Series.

At the museum, a special exhibit titled “Home on the Range: Managing Wild Horses on Colorado Public Lands” is currently on display.

The exhibit features the wild horse photography of Bureau of Land Management volunteer TJ Holmes, who helps to manage the Spring Creek Basin Wild Horse Herd in Disappointment Valley.

On Sept. 2 at 10 a.m., the museum will have a special presentation about wild horses from the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Mounted Patrol Unit. The mustangs were previously wild and inmates from Canon City assisted in their training and gentling. The museum is at 27501 Colorado Highway 184, west of Dolores.

On Sept. 16, at 4 p.m. the Four Corners Lecture Series presents Johnathan Dombrosky’s lecture titled “Ancestral Pueblo Fishing Strategies in the Middle Rio Grande of New Mexico.”

The presentation will be via Zoom at blm.zoomgov.com The meeting ID is 1616144600. The pass code is 844688.

According to the lecture abstract, it has long been assumed that fish were unimportant in the diet of past Pueblo people in the Southwest.

However, fish remains are consistently recovered from Late pre-Hispanic and early historic archaeological sites in the Middle Rio Grande of New Mexico.

“I use behavioral ecology to understand how fishing could have been a reliably good source of food for Ancestral Pueblo farmers in small quantities,” states Dombrosky in the abstract.

Stable isotope analysis and body size estimation suggest Ancestral Pueblo fishing strategies were associated with energy maximizing and foraging linked to environmental change.

Dombrosky is a postdoctoral scholar at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center. He has a PHD from the University of New Mexico. Dombrosky is fascinated by Southwest zooarchaeology, and leads projects on raptor management, human behavioral ecology, stable isotope ecology, conservation biology, and environmental science.

His research is published in international journals including Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, The Holocene, Hydrobiologia, and PeerJ.