Fish Springs horse deal in works | RecordCourier.com

Fish Springs horse deal in works

if you go

What: Wild horse meeting

When: 6:30 p.m. Oct. 17

Where: Fish Springs Fire House, 2249 Fish Springs Road

After more than a year of horse-trading, it sounds like the Bureau of Land Management and the Pine Nut Wild Horse Advocates have an understanding that will keep the Fish Springs herd in Fish Springs.

Residents are meeting 6:30 p.m. Oct. 17 at the Fish Springs Fire Station to hear about a two-year memorandum of understanding between the BLM and advocates.

Advocate Mary Cioffi said under the agreement, there are several conditions set forth by the BLM to manage the herd’s population.

The agreement includes “birth control and limited removals and establishes specific range conditions that must be met otherwise the BLM will ‘zero out the population’ meaning all wild horses would be removed in and around Fish Springs.”

Cioffi said they are anticipating BLM representatives will be at the meeting.

The advocates have been working since 2014 to “establish a long-term partnership with BLM to humanely manage wild horses in and around the Fish Springs area.”

It has been nearly a decade since the last roundup of wild horses in the Fish Springs area.

A 2013 proposal to conduct a similar roundup was met with opposition from residents, which prompted a pilot program using a contraceptive to limit the number of horses in the area.

The advocates have been trained to dart mares with the contraceptive to keep their numbers down and protect the range.

“Through this public-private partnership, all adult female horses have been inoculated with humane birth control thereby virtually guaranteeing the number of horses will decline through natural attrition,” Cioffi said.

A proposal was made to round up all but 26 of the Fish Spring horses, but the advocates were able to bring the BLM to the table where the current deal was worked out.

There are around 60 wild horses living in the Pine Nuts in Douglas County. Those horses have been largely immune from roundups conducted by the BLM over the past year in the rest of the Pine Nuts.

About 80 percent of the some 600 horses living in the Pine Nut area east of Carson City and Dayton have been rounded up since February.