Nevada Public Radio Listen Live

"All Things Considered"
Facebook Twitter Follow Nevada Public Radio

Support Nevada Public Radio
KNPR's State of Nevada About SON Archives Participate Specials

Drought Distresses Nevada's Wild Horses
Drought Distresses Nevada's Wild Horses

AIR DATE: July 23, 2013


Deniz Bolbol, Communications Director, American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign

Alan Shepherd, State Lead for Wild Horse and Burro Program, Bureau of Land Management

BY MARIE ANDRUSEWICZ -- According to the Bureau of Land Management, drought conditions are hurting Nevada’s wild horses. The BLM tried to provide food and water to horses on the range, but now says it must gather more than 50 in the Seaman Herd Area in eastern Nevada that they say are threatened with starvation and dehydration.

“The primary water sources that these horses rely on have basically gone down to nothing, and the horses are in critical condition and need our help to get the water they need,” says Alan Shepherd, State Lead for Wild Horse and Burro Program, Bureau of Land Management.

Shephard says that even though the BLM has offered the horses food and water, the animals are too timid to take it – “they’re just waiting for the little spring to generate water for them.”

Unless the BLM rounds up these horses, says Shephard, “They will die. It would be a pretty tough death, but that’s what would happen.”

Denise Bollbol, of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign says that the Bureau of Land Management has mishandled  -- and in fact mislabeled -- the situation with the horses.

“A drought is not an emergency,” says Bollbol. “We’ve known about this drought since winter.”

Bollbol says the current crisis could have been solved with better planning. She says the BLM should work to keep natural sources of water fortified and accessible.

She also challenges the BLM’s count of the horses that are affected by the drought.

“I only saw one horse, they claim there are 38,” says Bollbol, referring to the Gold Mountain Herd Management Area on the western border of Nevada. “I only saw one horse and he was in moderate condition.”

    comments powered by Disqus
    Why does BLM always let it come to this and then the wild horses are the ones who are targeted for elimination, not the livestock. We must look at this situation in depth. There is too much masquerading of the real in dept goings on here. Of course, BLM officials always like to make it see they are doing it for the good of the wild horses, i.e. removing them, but in most all cases they have been set up by not seeing that they have adequate water. For example, the big open pit mines often drain water tables or contaminate ground waters, yet little is done about this. Please read my book The Wild Horse Conspiracy, available on amazon either in print or as eBook as it unmasks so much of the negative conspiracy that has and continues to go on against the wild horses.
    Craig C. DownercJul 31, 2013 18:46:46 PM
    Again, man is the destructive factor in our fauna .. It makes me sad that we do not learn from history, we have only borrowed mother earth and we allow ourselves to still treat her badly. We should be able to live side by side with the animals that we are in pact with .. There must be some people who are going to be held accountable for this heinous act which is now happening. We should be ashamed, politicians should be ashamed, farmers should be ashamed of their greed. But one day it probably will work, we are going to beat us to death. Our grandchildren will ask us one day, "Where were you during the Holocaust of the animals? What did you do against these horrific crimes? This time around we will not be able to say, "We didn` t know it was going on " Denmark follows the case of the wilde horses being robbed of sin freedom and land som right fully belong to them. Slaughterhouses lead only two the worst form of animal cruelty, theywill go through the torture on sina last journey .. Let's show the next generation at vi acted with morality and ethics, and not as monsters. Vi kan change the world to a place where the
    Lone MonderlineJul 28, 2013 10:07:54 AM
    I appreciate the coverage, but I'm confused. Why is NPR running head-to-head comments about two different herd management areas?
    Terri FarleyJul 26, 2013 18:36:40 PM
    AMEN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    FayJul 23, 2013 19:37:26 PM
    BLM always cries 'Drought Condition's' when they want to remove more Wild Horses..they have been playing that word game for far too long now! They think people are stupid and fall for the okie -dokie!! There are not even enough horses to remove any more..they already ( TOOK THEM ALL )!! Why don't they get the cattle off our land and let the horses get to the water..the horses are not stupid!,but just being starved and dehydrated from not being able to get to it..SHAME ON BLM..and I for one am sick of their lies...!
    Patricia CoffmanJul 23, 2013 18:16:15 PM
    Just FYI, neither horses or cows are native species here, and as such do not fit in as part of the natural ecosystem per se.
    Tom HurstJul 24, 2013 08:48:00 AM
    I find it VERY discouraging that NPR would do a write up like this. Al is talking about Seaman on the Eastern border of the state and Deniz is talking about Gold Mountain on the Western edge. EACH and every area is different. USUALLY we expect NPR to recognize distinctions of shade and not try to throw in one color. BLm has already dropped two ares from the schedule that ARE NOT emergencies. TWO of the areas completely STRIP the FIRST AMENDMENT as they are under intense scrutiny of the courts. PLEASE NPR... PLEASE... give us the full palette.
    Laura LeighJul 23, 2013 13:48:38 PM
    Thank you for amending the piece to make the distinction.
    Laura LeighJul 23, 2013 20:54:27 PM
    Just to make note many former BLM employee's have spoke up on the abuse on wild horses. The reality is the BLM was a stem off of Grazing Act and so the cattle came in the horses go off!
    susane tagayev (Palomino Sue)Jul 23, 2013 13:35:45 PM
    Horses have lived on the land in their natural process of live without any help from MAN for hundreds of years! It is man that makes the problem. Most of the horses that are rounded up are in very healthy condition. It all has to do with greed and gazing permits and other agenda that they are rounded up. Denize Bolbol spoke from the Wild Horse and Burro Act that that drought is not a given reason for roundup. The law states that they are to manage them on the land! not in Government holding areas. The BLM should take all the money spent on roundups to better implement taking care of their need on the land naturally. Speaking of sequestration 6 million spent on helicoper roundup! How about 6 million in addressing better management on the range!
    susane tagayev (Palomino Sue)Jul 23, 2013 13:27:25 PM
    We wouldn't even be having this discussion if this State wasn't nearly 90% (unconstitutionally held) government land. If all land was private, some owners would choose to allow horses, and some wouldn't, but in any case it would be the clear wishes of the property owner that prevailed. With the BLM "owning" land, we have a quintessential "tragedy of the commons" situation wherein no one really cares about the land or wildlife because no one really owns it. And to that there is absolutely no non-political solution, which means that any solution will to some degree be corrupt.
    Tom HurstJul 23, 2013 12:43:54 PM
    I disagree that no one really cares about the land or the wildlife. Why do you think we are all reading this story and taking the time to comment?
    Ziggy PopeJul 23, 2013 13:55:18 PM
    Actually, it's more than obvious that no one cares about the land or wildlife. Do you really think that BLM employees care about anything but their paychecks and pensions? Do you really think that environmental activists care that the money to pay for their schemes is taken from others? Do you really think that ranchers prefer government grazing allotments over having their own private land? These simple observations and others indicate clearly to me that the land and wildlife are in limbo because no one has a vested interest in that property. And Econ 101 tells us that only the actual ownership of property can create the necessary incentives.
    Tom HurstJul 24, 2013 08:42:42 AM
    This is a situation created by the BLM mismanaging the land and allowing cows to overgraze on property that belongs to wild horses and burros. They caused this starvation. Now they're back pedaling . They want to round them up. They funny thing is they look just like the horses in captivity! They wont follow the National Academy of Science's recommendations to stop the roundups that are causing this over population mess and cannot provide care for the horses they have captured. 4 dead we know of from the heat. Sally Jewell does nothing. They need to be managed on the range by someone who has a clue about horses! Where is their protection that was given to them in the Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act? How can the BLM just sell their land away to Big oil and gas? All this needs to be revisited and a solution by humane advocates has to be on the table because the BLM treats them like rats instead of the majestic, iconic symbol of America that they are.
    Sheryl BarnesJul 23, 2013 12:24:24 PM
    The ranchers has been removing wild horses off the land for years and mistreating them,then ever since In 1934 the with the support of the most influential cattlemen in the West, Representative Edward Taylor, a rancher from Colorado and enemy of the conservationists, pushed through the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934. This ended the sheep herders use of the land. The Division of Grazing was formed and placed under the Department of Interior. Public lands continued to deteriorate. Wild horses continued to be removed from public rangelands under the auspices of a federal extermination program. The unregulated exploitation of the wild horse herds constituted the federal government's policy for nearly thirty years! In 1939, the Division of Grazing became the Grazing Service which joined with the General Land Office in 1946 to form the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).!! It took a very dedicated lady Velma Johnston to fight the BLM and got the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971 passed and signed by President Nixon to make the Blm protect these horses on the land! Yet they get removed for grazing permit for cattle, fracking , ruby pipeline. Drought is but another excuse! Get rid of BLM
    susane tagayev (Palomino Sue)Jul 23, 2013 10:32:35 AM
    Web hosting facilities provided by Switch.