BLM Ignores Pleas of Local Community to Keep Wild Horse Family Free
Feds to Remove Mustangs Rather than Build Fence to Keep Small Herd on the Range
Carson City, NV – February 26, 2013 – Today, the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC), a national coalition, joined forces with a Nevada State Senator and local community leaders in and around Carson City to harshly criticize the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for refusing to work with local residents to keep a small group of wild horses free. The mustang herd at issue travels between federal land in the Pine Nut Herd Management Area (HMA) and a rural area outside Carson City.
“We are outraged that, at a time when the BLM has stockpiled an astounding 50,000 wild horses in captivity, this agency is unwilling to work with the community to prevent the removal of more horses by keeping one small family of cherished horses wild and free,” said Deniz Bolbol, AWHPC communications director who has been working with the community on a plan for the horses.
On Friday, Bolbol spoke with BLM manager Leon Thomas and urged the agency to build a fence to keep the horses in question on their designated range, offering to cover the costs if necessary. She noted that, each year, the agency builds miles of fencing for livestock, and expressed shock that the BLM had not even considered building a fence to keep these wild horses within their designated range. Bolbol points out that temporary fencing could be put up in a day or two to address any possible safety concerns.
Yesterday, the BLM announced that it will proceed with the immediate removal of the horses, rejecting offers from neighbors, local officials and wild horse advocacy groups to work on solutions that would keep the horses wild and free. The agency continues to cite outdated complaints more than a year old, relating to other horses, as justification for its targeting of these horses.
One of the public officials expressing dismay with the BLM’s announcement is State Senator Mark Manendo, who said, “"As an advocate for Nevada and its animals, domestic and wild, I encourage the BLM to exhaust all efforts to work with Carson City citizens dedicated to keeping our wild horses on their native land."
The wild horses at issue are locally revered by residents as a part of their culture. This band has lived in this area over 40 years; the herd originally had approximately 50 horses, who were systematically removed by BLM over time. Just weeks ago, the small herd was down to 11 members, when the BLM removed five horses. There are just six wild horses left in this family, and residents have been fighting hard to keep them wild and free.
“We are heartbroken that our government will not work with us on a solution for these beautiful wild horses who are cherished by our community,” said Annie Jantzen. “This is a heartless move by the federal government, which is thumbing its nose at local leaders, our community and the American taxpayers, who continue to pay as the BLM removes more and more horses from the range, while ignoring real solutions to keep them on our public lands.”
The BLM itself admits that the small family of horses at issue does not affect the Pine Nut Mountain HMA population count because they are isolated on the Carson side of Brunswick Canyon from the rest of the horses.
The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) is a coalition of more than 50 horse advocacy, public interest, and conservation organizations dedicated to preserving the American wild horse in viable, free-roaming herds for generations to come.