An effort is under way to get the Bureau of Land Management to expand the area where wild horses roam the Pine Nut mountains.
A workshop to gather public comment on the fate of a band of wild horses living in Fish Springs was held at the Carson District office on Wednesday night.
BLM officials say the wild horses have migrated about 10 miles outside the Pine Nut Herd Management Area to the Fish Springs area and are affecting private property.
The management area extends only short way into northern Douglas County, and every few years a band of wild horses rediscovers the Fish Springs area south of Gardnerville.
The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign wants the BLM to stop removing wild horses and to instead manage the horses on the range.
Horse advocates say wild horses have lived in the Fish Springs area for decades without interruption.
“The problem lies in part due to the recent removal of water sources that were available to horses in the area for decades,” aid Deniz Bolbol, campaign communications director/ “The campaign is calling upon the BLM to conduct public education, range improvements including securing water sources for the horses, a humane fertility control program and other management in order to fulfill its mission to protect and manage wild horses.”
Acording to the campaign, the BLM Carson City District, in the 1980s and 1990s, “zeroed out” or eliminated the management of wild horses in more than half of the Pine Nut Mountains Herd Area reducing the area where horses are allowed to live from more than 251,000 acres to under 105,000 acres.
Advocates say the BLM reduced the numbers of horses allowed to live in the area from 387 horses to just 179 animals.
“The agency permits far more private commercial livestock to use the public lands than wild horses,” Bolbol said.
The campaign is seeking expansion of the horse management area to include Fish Springs, and to increase the number of horses allowed to live in the area as part of the BLM’s revision of its resource management plan.