Advocates protest wild horse removal

The East Valley Five at the Bureau of Land Management's Palomino Valley Wild Horse and Burro Center. Photo by Karen Martell

The East Valley Five at the Bureau of Land Management's Palomino Valley Wild Horse and Burro Center. Photo by Karen Martell

Five horses from the Fish Springs Herd were captured by the Bureau of Land Management over the last week.

The horses Noel, Smoky, Bolt, Blaze and Bunny, consisted of two young stal-lions, a mature stallion and two mares, according to the Pine Nut Wild Horse Advocates.

Advocate Mary Cioffi said the capture occurred within days of someone dumping eight bales of hay along East Valley Road.

She said a dozen volunteers took 6-7 hours to clean up the hay and haul it off.

“They had to go out with rakes to get it all up,” she said. “The folks who usu-ally deliver water stepped up to the plate.”

Cioffi said that she’d heard someone complained about the horses, which is sufficient to bring out the BLM.

“They do not need to be fed,” she said. “There’s plenty of feed in the hills. We’ve been posting photos of them so people can see they’re not starving.”

BLM Public Affairs Specialist Lisa Ross said the Carson City District Office has been receiving requests to remove the horses since mid-December.

“Since Dec. 16, BLM Nevada, Carson City District Office has received phone calls and written requests from homeowners along East Valley Road near Minden requesting the removal of nuisance horses due to reasons including safety concerns for the wild horses and the public, private property damage, harassment of wild horses and harassment of pets,” Ross told The Record-Courier.

She said the district office has also received calls from law enforcement concerned that the horses were creating a public safety hazard.

She confirmed that five horses were removed by the BLM.

Wild horses don’t have to compete with cattle across Douglas County’s portion of the Pine Nut Mountains. The major grazing lease holder, Christopher and Camille Bently, have come out against gathering the horses.

“God forbid a government agency work with the community for a positive solution,” Camille Bently said. “I’m just so sick of it.”

The Advocates have been trying to get authorization to fence horses in the Pine Nuts in an effort to keep them from coming into the neighborhoods.

Two horses were killed on East Valley Road on Dec. 20, 2021, something advocates say could have been prevented by a fence.

“We asked permission to put in 17 miles of fencing at our expense to keep horses off roads and we were turned down,” Cioffi said.

There are around 60 horses living in Douglas County’s portion of the Pine Nuts.

One of the key issues with working with the BLM’s Carson City District is the lack of a consistent Sierra Front Field Manager.

Brady Owens is the interim manager and an effort hire a permanent manag-er closed on Jan. 19.


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