Wild Love Preserve was founded by Andrea Maki to do the practical work of keeping a magical promise to a band of wild horses. Since the early days of WLP, I've been impressed with the way she meets each challenge with integrity and creativity while encouraging everyone she associates with to do the same. WLP projects her strong ethics and inclusiveness as it collaborates with the BLM, local landowners, scientific groups and others.Andrea is an accomplished visual artist which adds a unique dimension to sharing Wild Love's work with the world. Her photographs of these high desert horses are exceptional and express her connection to both the horses and the landscape.This organization, with its passionate and committed volunteers, could not more worthy of support of all types.
Challis, Idaho, is a single main street town with 1081 inhabitants, and the county seat of Custer Counter. Set in a valley surrounded by mountains above and the Salmon River nearby, it is the home of the Wild Love Preserve. You wouldn’t realize, nor notice, that the Preserve on US Route 93 is the ranch home for wild horses. Captured on the high plateaus of the surrounding area, they graze on a 400-acre expanse in wind swept solitude.
The ranch, the horses are the wild love of Andrea Maki, the Preserve’s founder. In June, Bonnie Way and I had a chance to walk among the wild horses as they, and we, roamed over the grassy, and sometimes water soaked, fields of the ranch.
It was quite an experience for me because I have never had a good relationship with horses when young. I never developed the skill to ride them. When I tried, I was usually bumped out of the saddle and landed on the ground with a jarring thud. As an adult, I stayed away from them.
Yet, these wild horses were never threatening and had a fascinating appeal to Bonnie and me. They would gallop away as we approached, stop when we stopped. Eventually, as we stood still and watched quietly, they would approach guardedly assessing us from the distance. In time, we met. They would touch and smell our clothes, nibble on our shoulder bags, nudge our hats, and allow us to touch them and rub their necks and manes.
The experience was thrilling, especially after avoiding contact with horses for so many years. Perhaps the wild horses sensed that we were not a threat to them, just as much as we felt safe in their presence. It was also heartwarming, and educational, to experience these wild, beautiful creatures in their surroundings. They have a wonderful place among the agricultural and outdoor pursuits of the people of, and visitors to, Challis. -Janis Rogainis
I am a dedicated volunteer and want to share my Eagle Rare Life Story about Wild Love Preserve here with Great Nonprofits:
I've known Andrea Maki for 25 years and have witnessed her integrity, dedication, and commitment first-hand. Andrea doesn't waver, she's insistent on honesty and follow-through, and in today's world, it's rare to find a truly altruistic individual. She has inspired me, and countless others, to roll up our sleeves and join her in protecting and preserving wild horses in their indigenous habitats in Idaho and throughout the West.
Since 2010, Andrea's had her art career on hold as she's focused 100% of her time, energy, and resources, on creating an all-inclusive model in wild horse conservation in Idaho, after she promised some Challis wild horses she would do everything she could to help them remain wild and together in their native habitat.
Following her promise, Andrea founded her nonprofit called Wild Love Preserve in 2010 and she's made countless road trips between her home in Seattle and the central Idaho high desert to the Challis wild horses. She's been saving wild horses by bringing opposing stakeholders together for the first time, and because of her efforts, not one Idaho wild horse has been shipped out of state to long-term government facilities, since the Bureau of Land Management's 2012 helicopter roundup of the Challis wild horses.
Kindness, mutual respect, science, and education drive Wild Love Preserve's mission to protect and preserve wild horses in their native habitat and nurture the legacy of respective indigenous ecosystems as an interconnected whole, with regional engagement and benefit. Wild Love Preserve engages public and private lands to address all facets of regional wild horse conservation on home turf in central Idaho: from the 136 Challis, Idaho wild horses WLP adopted following the 2012 Challis BLM helicopter roundup, to their collaborative work on the range and their creation of a permanently protected wild expanse in the heart of Idaho wild horse country.
Andrea's holistic approach to the preservation of our iconic wild mustangs focuses on our collective well-being by bridging divides and bringing stakeholders together to collaboratively address total range health, sustainable ecosystems, co-existence with all wildlife, and livestock where applicable. She's pioneered a model in wild horse preservation that has garnered national attention and serves as a pilot for other wild horse regions.
Boots-on-the-ground work, negotiations, policy change... plus she has been tirelessly fundraising for the last six plus years. Raising full project funding has been a challenge, although not surprising when blazing a new trail, establishing a new system and pilot program. In addition to not having the means to take a salary, she has leveraged all of her personal credit resources to cover WLP wild horse program expenditures, while she's simultaneously saved American taxpayers $7.5 million since 2013.
No matter the odds, Andrea Maki walks her talk. “Too many people are of a moment, then they are off to the next and assume someone else will take care of it. Hypothetical discussions don’t result in change,” she says. “Change only happens with action.”
I met Andrea Maki about 4 years ago through a mutual friend after watching a disturbing documentary about the wild horse round up process and aftermath. She has dedicated herself to this cause, specifically to the wilds in Challis, Idaho.
After the most recent helicopter roundup in 2012, she took it on herself to adopt as many as she could - to keep them together, to keep them at home and to keep them wild. She has been working hand in hand with the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) as the Idaho sector had never before had someone take on so many. She has them on private leased property but the goal is to acquire a parcel in the Challis area as part of a land trust - so they can stay there forever.
Meanwhile Andrea & the BLM are working hand in hand to keep several wild bands out on the range working with veterinarians with a safe birth control method to help with population management, the issue that drives the BLM to do the roundups in the first place. She has also been working hard to gain consensus and momentum in the community educating the community and talking with many of the local ranchers.
Andrea Make is an amazing person who made a promise to these beautiful creatures but she needs financial help to acquire some property at which point needed grants can come in to play.
She's the Jane Goodall of wild horses. Kudos to her for stepping up and taking action every day, she's a true hero!
Andrea Maki is the Jane Goodall for wild horses! I had the privilege to sit down and talk to her about what was happening to the wild horses in Idaho and across the country. She is so knowledgeable and passionate about this, it's contagious! This problem won't go away without people like Andrea to advocate for the horses, to never back down, to make deep ties in the community. She's that person but she needs support to keep it going. If you've been looking for a cause to get involved with that you can really feel like your making a difference with excellent leadership, WLP is it!
I was incredibly moved on my 5 day trip to experience the wild horses with my 16 year old grandson. The beauty, gentleness curiosity of these beautiful horses was awe inspiring. I was particularly impressed by Andrea Maki's determination to protect the native horses and her ability to bring together the ranchers, the BLM, and environmentalists. Her approach has already accomplished much of what she has set out to do. How she works with disparate interests is as awe inspiring as being with the horses. This model could be used in other states where there are wild horses and we would be saving the state money as well as preserving these indigenous beings. I hope Wild Love Preserve receives the money it needs so this experiment/model can be used in the future.
I've known Andrea Maki for many years and have witnessed her dedication and comittment first hand. Wild Love is an incredible organization and deserves all the support you can give - they do great work saving and advocating for the wild ones. Great work!!
A fantastic organization with a tremendous mission very near to the heart of this Idahoan.
Wild Love Preserve has given so many beautiful horses a chance to have a normal free life, the horses that are with WIld Love Preserve are free! They have organized themselves into little herds amongst themselves and are peaceful. There is no stress in this herd. I am so grateful to have met Andrea and have had the opportunity to see the progress of where these horses belong. It is a beautiful, awesome organization.
My dream as a child was to rescue wild horses, let them run free on my land, and preserve their natural way of life - a dream that so far hasn't yet manifested - however, two years ago I came across Wild Love Preserve and began following their efforts to rescue a herd of Idaho wild horses. I have since donated to their cause as well as helped to organize fundraisers on their behalf. I truly believe that their program is the way forward for wild horse preservation, and have seen for myself their commitment, love and dedication to Idaho's native wild horses.
My support for Wild Love Preserve comes from a deep place in my heart. I have been a horse owner most of my life and cannot imagine a world where the native horses of this land are not out there running free. It would be such a tragic loss to our lands.
Wild Love Preserve's founder is also the most committed, passionate advocate I know. She is working hard night and day to save these horses and could use all the support we can muster to give her and her team. Long live the wild horses of Idaho!