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January 27, 2009

    Lesley A. Collins

Trails Center Celebrates Black History Month with
 New Exhibit on Black Cowboys 

Image of Black Cowboy exhibit at the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center.

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The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) National Historic Trails Interpretive Center (NHTIC) is celebrating Black History Month with a new exhibit titled "Black Cowboys: The Forgotten Range Riders." The exhibit opens on Feb. 1, 2009, and will continue throughout the month.

According to some estimates, there were at least 5,000 black cowboys in the western United States. However, images of black cowboys in movies, television, and books are scarce, giving the false impression that African Americans weren't cowboys.

The exhibit features rodeo stars Bill Pickett and Jesse Stahl, along with a famous black cowboy, Nat Love, also known as "Deadwood Dick." Love earned his nickname from a shooting competition in South Dakota, after placing 14 out of 14 bullets in the center of a target at 250 yards.

"This new exhibit recognizes black cowboys and their contributions to U.S. and Wyoming history," said Eric Fransted, acting director of the Trails Center. "This exhibit is timely and appropriate for the Cowboy State."

The NHTIC is a public-private partnership between the BLM and the National Historic Trails Center Foundation. The facility is located at 1501 N. Poplar Street, Casper, Wyo. Winter hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For more information, contact Alex Rose at the NHTIC, (307) 261-7780.

The BLM manages more land - 258 million acres - than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western States, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.

- BLM -