WEDA Success Stories
WEDA Success Stories
Category: 2015 Success Stories
Dwayne and Denise Oldham have been in the agricultural industry for over 40 years. The family established the Double D Rancn in 2005. Their enterprises consist of horse training and sales, prospect show lambs and cattle, custom fed beef and hay production. In addition, Dwayne is also a former Wyoming state veterinarian. The Double D is a ranching operation located seven miles north of Lander, Wyoming on the Wind River Indian Reservation with approximately 900 acres. The Oldham family leases and owns portions of the land and as of the spring 2015, uses some of this land as an ecosanctuary for 56 Wyoming wild horses and burros through a program with the BLM.
Oldham was referred to Alyssa Lozier, Procurement Specialist at the Wyoming Entrepreneur Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) by the BLM for assistance in getting government registrations activated for the ranch to pursue a project the BLM had set-aside to pasture wild horses. He stayed on top of keeping his registrations current and active, while conferring with the PTAC about BLM and government related questions, ensuring he was meeting all government requirements. This all assisted and prepared him in reaching for his end goal, which was and is to assist the BLM in controlling wild horse numbers on Western rangelands.
The BLM entered into a partnership agreement with Dwayne to reimburse him at a funding level comparable to what the agency pays ranchers to care for wild horses on long-term pastures in the Midwest. To date, he has received over $200,000 in federal assistance from the BLM to cover feeding and care expenses. Currently the Double D is one of only three wild horse sanctuaries in Wyoming with horses from overpopulated herds in Wyoming. Dwayne’s facility currently has 56 horses but will be increasing that number to 100 horses before winter.
A long-term plan under the BLM-Double D Ranch partnership will additionally include establishing a learning and visitor center, tours and gift shop. The Double D operation is also planning on involving the Eastern Shoshone Tribe and Northern Arapaho Tribe of the Wind River Reservation to assist in running the learning center to interpret the historic role of the horse in the Native American culture. With support from local and county entities, he hopes this sanctuary can provide ecotourism to the area as well.
The Double D operation has three full time employees and two seasonal employees. From the partnership Dwayne has with the BLM, he will be able to retain the ranch’s seasonal employees into the winter to assist with feeding and care. Dwyane expects to have a new employee in the future to oversee the visitors’ center and horse tours.