Nevada Wild Horse Program Headed For Disaster, another emergency removal underway
(Ely, NV) Seven wild horses have died due to drought. The Ely District of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has announced an emergency removal of 80-100 wild horses in the area of the Triple B Complex where the deaths have occurred. The operation will be conducted through bait trapping without any public access to operations.
The state of NV has been suffering moderate to severe drought for four years. Each year districts send an escalating issues report to the state.
Recently the agency removed starving wild horses from the Cold Creek area near Las Vegas.
“For two years we have been meeting with the BLM state office warning of these types of events,” said Laura Leigh, President of Wild Horse Education, “These events should simply never have been allowed to escalate with no proactive action. Anyone that has spent any time on the range in this state saw the writing on the wall and began to seriously panic two years ago.”
Two years ago Wild Horse Education (WHE) attempted dialogue to create proactive action. At that time the group pushed for monitoring and fertility control. Although seemingly receptive, to date the agency has taken very little action to address WHEs concerns.
“This summer the agency failed to address multiple factors that they were warned was going to lead to broad scale death on the range,” Leigh said. “I can only assume that the politics surrounding the sage grouse over shadowed any reality of the ground. What is coming may be of epic proportions. The agency moves so slowly that this winter will likely bring literal heartbreak to anyone that cares.”
WHE spends considerable time on the ranges in northern and central NV. The group reports there are multiple areas that face these very same pending disasters. The wild horse and burro program has needed a serious overhaul. In 2013 the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) review outlined deficiencies in the program that to date, have not been addressed.
“No real effort was made to curtail what could be curtailed, domestic livestock use.” Leigh continued, “There were programs in place to compensate ranchers financially for any hardship. A price will be paid for a lack of forethought. It is more than tragic that burden continually falls on the back of the wild horse.”
To Learn More:
Keys to proactive management during drought are simple:
Monitoring of water sources. Population distribution to minimize acclimation to sensitive areas. Birth control.
We should have seen this broad scale three years ago. Reduction of livestock; either through pasture exchange or reimbursement for non turn out.
Categories: Wild Horse Education