Nye County Commission Adopts “Stop Helicopter Roundups” Resolution, Unanimously
(Nye County,NV) Today the Nye County Commission in Nevada adopted, unanimously, a resolution in opposition to the manner in which the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) captures wild horses by helicopter.
NOW, THEREFORE LET IT BE RESOLVED, that the present Nye County Board of Commissioners declares that it does not support the BLM’s present Helicopter method of rounding-up our Wild Horses and Burros any longer within the borders of Nye County, Nevada.
The resolution was spearheaded by a local advocate, Priscilla Lane, who reached out to our founder, Laura Leigh, to assist this effort by providing testimony.
Leigh discussed her relentless litigation, and what she has witnessed, during helicopter roundups. She went on to discuss the creation of the Comprehensive Animal Welfare Policy (CAWP) and the failure of BLM to appropriately train personnel and review the policy. Her testimony included events witnessed in the last few years and the failure of BLM to operate with transparency and responsibility to animal welfare. One of these events involved a mare relentlessly chased as she aborted a foal; another involved foals run until they collapsed. She presented her correspondence with BLM where they claimed “nothing was wrong” and “nothing needed to change.” (video of mare can be found here)
“The BLM has more than ample opportunity to demonstrate that it takes the safety and welfare of our wild horses, a national public treasure, seriously,” Leigh stated “Instead BLM has continually failed in the mandate to manage wild horses humanely.”
“Although states have no authority over actions on federal land,” Leigh continued, “ this resolution passed through a Nevada Commission without one dissenting voice. This speaks volumes. BLM has had multiple tools, including the use of temporary fertility control, and decades to create actual management planning that considers the welfare of wild horses on the range and during capture. This resolution clearly speaks loudly, we have all had enough of BLM just kicking the same can down the road.”
Wild Horse Education spent several years working with BLM on management planning for several herds managed inside the boundaries, and partial boundaries, of Nye county. For a decade BLM has continued to drag their heels.
“Perhaps this resolution can help get BLM to make long overdue changes? I know it will make a great exhibit if the task is left up to the public again through the court system. Hopefully that burden will begin to shift to the shoulders of those that make a good living off the taxpayer, the BLM employees tasked with humane management by Congress.”
Note from Leigh: It really was a honor to be part of all the very passionate voices that spoke today against abuse of our wild horses. I heard voices from old time residents, tribes and others that have witnessed decades of our wild horses and burros being abused. I have to admit, I am spending a great deal of time in the “big picture” these days with the budget debates, talking with legal council on the cases we may need to bring in the coming months. It was really an honor to hear the, sometimes shaky voices filled with emotion, of local residents that love our wild ones.
There are so many unacceptable actions taken against our wild horses and burros, it gets hard to take them “one at a time.” We know how much each and every infraction hurts; from how BLM disregards actual management, continues to do things like run newborns days or weeks after birth in summer heat and the demise so many of our wild ones face in the slaughter pipeline.
Today listening to the voices of local residents has thrown fuel on my fire. I just got off the phone with Priscilla Lane, the advocate that reached out to county commissioner Donna Cox to get this resolution heard. Priscilla worked with advocate Garnet Pasquale who passed away in 2014, “This one is for Garnet,” she said. We agree, “this one is for you Garnet.”
We fight on.
Help us stay in the fight.