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Lawsuit hopes to halt Nevada wild horse removal

Nevada wild horses

Photo credit: Pixabay

In an effort to boost watershed health, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plans to round up thousands of wild horses that roam a 912,000-acre parcel of public land in Lincoln County, Nevada. It’s part of BLM’s 10-year plan to eliminate all wild horse herds within a 40 mile radius of Caliente, Nevada due to “a decade-old analysis showing too little water and forage to sustain healthy wild horses” within that area, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

However, not everyone agrees with BLM’s plans.

Last week, a lawsuit was filed by Western Watersheds Project, The Cloud Foundation and the American Wild Horse Campaign to stop the massive wild horse removal. The suit alleges that BLM’s move to round up the horses is a violation of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act as well as other federal laws.

“We are directly challenging the BLM’s decision to eradicate all federally protected wild horses from the public lands within the Caliente Complex while continuing to authorize thousands of privately owned cattle to graze the same area,” Bill Eubanks, an attorney representing the groups, said in a written statement.

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According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, BLM’s 2008 resource management plan for the Caliente Complex, which is comprised of nine separate herd areas, cannot “support wild horses on a long-term basis.” With an estimate of over 1,744 wild horses within the complex, BLM says the number of wild horses is unsustainable for the land and incredibly harmful to overall watershed health; however, those suing BLM argue that it’s not the horses that are the problem: it’s the 4,500 domestic cows and sheep.

“We have a real and widespread problem with overgrazing on western public lands, and in almost every case the cause is domestic livestock, not wild horses, or mule deer or elk,” Erik Molvar, executive director of the Western Watersheds Project, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

BLM does not comment on pending litigation; however, there has been no start date confirmed for the round-up.


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Seth D. - posted 1 year ago on 07-06-2018 03:03:30 am
Public Lands

First off they are feral not wild. Second remove them now!

Erik S. - posted 1 year ago on 07-04-2018 10:42:21 am

Where are these groups when it comes to the eradication efforts with wild pigs? They know it and we know it, pigs arent as "majestic" as horses. The bottom line is all wildlife needs to be managed on a landscape with 360 Million people, including invasive species obviously. But you know, the f'ckn emotions get in the way of progress and sustainability.

Isaac R. - posted 1 year ago on 07-03-2018 01:21:12 pm

These foundations don’t have a clue about what they are fighting for the land can’t sustain the number of wild horses present on the land. They need to get the the numbers under control to better all the wildlife in the area including these horses.

michael w. - posted 1 year ago on 07-03-2018 12:15:10 pm
Benton, AR

Yes the horse herds need to be removed.

Gary H. - posted 1 year ago on 07-03-2018 10:11:10 am

If they cant domesticate them and sell them then these horses should be treated like wild hogs and shot on site.

They are nothing more than an invasive species destroying the public landscape.