Four out of dozens of wild horses rounded up in September are being offered for adoption next week, the Bureau of Land Management announced Tuesday.
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Wild Horses in Nevada
Despite overall numbers in the tens of thousands, the wild horse is on the verge of going extinct in North America for the second time in 13,000 years and deserves protection under the Endangered Species Act, mustang advocates say.
Saying they don’t have money or room to corral many more wild horses, federal land managers have sided with horse advocates in calling for the dismissal of a Nevada lawsuit demanding acceleration of roundups.
Robin Warren, 13, of Las Vegas has filed her own initiative petition with the Nevada secretary of state’s office to expand protections for Nevada’s wild horses and burros.
The long-term survival of a large ground-dwelling bird that lives in sagebrush throughout much of Northern and central Nevada could soon become the next big battle between ranchers and the federal government.
Tensions are growing on the range in a turf battle that has been simmering for decades over one of the icons of the American West.
The head of the government’s $70 million wild-horse management program warned last summer that it is headed for financial collapse unless “drastic changes” are made in the decades-old roundup policy she said could be setting U.S. rangeland-improvement goals back 20 years.
The government spent less than 1 percent of its wild horse management budget on contraception programs and more than 60 percent on horse holding facilities last fiscal year despite a pledge to step up use of fertility control as an alternative to controversial roundups of overpopulated mustang herds on U.S. rangelands, agency records show.
Two Nevada organizations have sued the federal government, alleging mismanagement of wild horses led to excessive damage to rangelands and the animals themselves. The Nevada Farm Bureau Federation and the Nevada Association of Counties filed suit Dec. 30 in U.S. District Court in Nevada.
A federal judge on Friday cleared the way for horse slaughterhouses to resume operating in the U.S. as early as next week.