The New Mexico Dahl Heritage Sheep dating back to the expedition of Francisco Vásquez de Coronado y Lujan in 1540 which were abandoned and escaped into remote high country of New Mexico and Spanish Land Grants where they cross-bred with native Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep and lived feral for over four-hundred years coming close to extinction. There were only six left back in the 1980s when Donald Chavez y Gilbert started rescue efforts. Chavez, a 16th generation sheep rancher decedent of the first Spanish colonists which brought the first cowboys to the Wild West and an eight generation descendant of Belen Land Grant founder, Diego de Torres still is living on the Belen Land Grant ranch.
The NM State Legislature officially recognized these sheep in 2013, and the New Mexico Department of Tourism has certified the New Mexico Dahl Heritage sheep as an exclusive product of the New Mexico True registered trademark. As such the Belen Foundation herd appears on the New Mexico Cultural Atlas a phone app that makes all the tourist points of interest available with descriptions and GPS directions; http://atlas.newmexicoculture.org/.
The Bernalillo County Commission adopted the New Mexico Dahl Heritage sheep as their mascot in 2014 and published this four minute mini-documentary in March 2019, after building an exhibit for the sheep at the Gutierrez Hubble House museum (http://gutierrezhubbellhouse.org/dahlsheep/) in the Albuquerque south valley; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aI_LDzn_ywE&t=154s/History of the Dahl Sheep in New Mexico & BernCo Bernie.
More information on Chavez’ on line book on the true history of ranching/cowboys/vaqueros - http://www.nmhcpl.org/COWBOY.html.