Virginia Range Volunteer Highlight: Lauri Duke

This article was taken from the monthly Virginia Range newsletter The Pinto Post. Click here to sign up to receive the latest happenings from the boots-on-the-ground work on behalf of this historic herd! 

This month’s volunteer highlight is fantastic volunteer Lauri Duke! Lauri got involved with wild horses about a year and a half ago when she and her husband were driving to Pyramid Lake. They passed the BLM’s wild horse adoption center and noticed a lot of horses in corrals. Her interest was immediately piqued and as soon as she got home, she started researching where the wild ones lived. She now says that she’s found them and it has changed her life. Lauri then ran into Corenna Vance of Wild Horse Connection while she and her husband were photographing in Lockwood, NV. Corenna suggested Lauri start documenting and the rest is history!

Lauri Duke

Lauri is a dedicated documenter on the Virginia Range. She loves getting to watch the wild horse families interact and observing the behaviors of the horses especially as the foals grow up and watching the horses come for water. She thinks it's so interesting the way some will stand in the background and wait for their turn, no matter how long it takes. She enjoys seeing changes in each horse, what new horses may have come into the band, or which may have been taken by another. The aspect of being outside and hiking up a hill and finding a band of horses or several bands together is awesome and rewarding for Lauri.

She says it's so much fun to photograph entire families and then go home and look them up in the database to identify them and find out who they are. It’s like a puzzle. One of the hardest parts of photographing for the database is trying to keep all the horses separate from their own families. To Lauri, standing there quietly and watching them interact with each other is awe-inspiring. And, in the end, the darters have the information they need to be able to locate mares that need to be vaccinated with birth control. So, what’s her favorite part? Everything!!

While she’s not documenting wild horses, Lauri has a part-time job teaching Independent Living Skills to highly functional people with learning disabilities, so she’s doing good no matter where she is!

Thank you, Lauri for your dedication to helping to protect the Virginia Range horses. Your hard work is greatly appreciated!

Want to become a volunteer for our Nevada program? Click here to learn more.