Reports of residents throwing rocks at wild horses and chasing the animals in vehicles, as well as complaints about horses near school bus stops, led to a roundup in Mound House on Tuesday.
Mike Holmes, program officer for the state Department of Agriculture, said he rounded up 23 horses Tuesday from an area that included school bus stops.
"The horses were hanging around on the highway and at bus stops, so it was a safety factor for both the public and the horses," he said. "I got complaints, including from two mothers who were crying because the horses were at the bus stops with their children. Horses don't belong at a bus stop where kids are."
Holmes said he heard of the harassment reports but had no first-hand knowledge.
Lt. Jeroen Wynands of the Dayton substation for the Lyon County Sheriff's Department said there had been reports of a woman chasing horses in a pickup.
"By the time we got up there the horses were gone, there was no license number given for the pickup and we couldn't find it around the neighborhood," he said.
The same report brought about a warning by the chairman of the Mound House Regional Advisory Committee.
"There has been talk of people throwing rocks at the horses and not just to chase them away," said Gordon Huttig. "There are reports of people running motorized vehicles at the horses to chase them."
Huttig advised that if residents were having a problem with the horses to contact the Bureau of Land Management or Shirley Allen of Least Resistance Training Concepts.
"Remember it is illegal to feed or especially to harass the wild horses," he added.
Shirley Allen, program manager for Least Resistance Training Corps, which works with the state to solve problems involving wild horses, said they had received reports of harassment as well. She said her group was aware of the roundup.
"When the state gets three or more phone calls from private citizens in the area where the horses are, depending on the complaint, the state has to respond to these complaints," she said. "A trap is then set up and the horses are rounded up and taken."
Holmes said some of the horses would be relocated to the Virginia Range area, others, if they fit the criteria, could be placed with the Nevada Department of Corrections training program to be trained and adopted out, and the remainder would be placed with nonprofit organizations.
Meg Getty, executive director of the National Wild Horse Center Inc., which is trying to build a National Wild Horse and Burro Center in Mound House, said the organization was supposed to receive $5 million in federal funding, but was unsure when or if that funding will arrive.
"With everything that's gone on with the hurricane and all, I don't know what we'll get," she said.
Getty said the plans for the horse and burro center were still going forward.
n Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 882-2111, ext. 351.
Where to call
To report feeding or harassment of wild horses or to report nuisance horses, contact Shirley Allen of Least Resistance Training Corps, at (775) 246-7636.