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Petition seeks to keep wild horses

Fish Springs resident Sheila Schwadel said she has gathered more than 300 signatures to present to the Bureau of Land Management asking that some of the Fish Springs wild horse herd be left in place.

“We understand that they are gathering horses,” she said. “But we are asking that they not round up all of the horses in Fish Springs. It’s my understanding that they are also planning to round up a band of horses by Slater Mine, which is quite a distance out.”

Schwadel, who represents the Fish Springs Wild Horse Posse, said there is plenty of water and forage for the horses.



“If there are problem horses, bachelor bands, those should probably be rounded up,” she said. “But there is a band or two that are real quiet and don’t disturb anyone that we’re requesting BLM keep out here.”

The BLM is proposing to use helicopters to round up 67 horses in the Fish Springs area. The horses are living outside the Pine Nut horse management area.



Another 118 horses will be rounded up in the Pine Nuts, including mares who will be given a drug to prevent them from foaling for two years, and then released back into the wild.

The government says the treatment is necessary to keep the number of horses down to a number that can be sustained by the available resources.

Schwadel said she hoped that the BLM would be willing to work with Gardnerville as they have in Dayton, where they have a memorandum to cooperate with the Dayton Regional Advisory Council.

“Gardnerville should be promoting that people can drive out to the back side of Fish Springs and see some wild horses,” she said. “I took the handlers for the Budweiser Clydesdales out there and the guys were tickled pink. They’d never seen a horse in the wild before.”

Schwadel said she understands that the roundup requires the use of a helicopter, but that in the roundups she’s seen the horses go at a gallop, not the trot claimed by the government.

“They have to use the helicopter, but it’s not true the picture that they paint,” she said. “Most of the time horses are running because they’re scared, then they start trotting when they get tired.”

The BLM plans to conduct the horse roundup in mid-November.