CARSON CITY — On Jan. 23, 2013, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Carson City District Office began removing 11 problem wild horses on the outskirts of Carson City, Nevada. The horses are a part of the Pine Nut Mountains herd management area (HMA) that is adjacent to Deer Run Road in Carson City. These horses routinely cross the Carson River into River View City Park, where the BLM has received several complaints of people feeling threatened by the wild horses. The horses are outside of HMA boundaries the majority of the time and residents, especially horse owners, can quickly find themselves in potentially dangerous situations as domestic wild horse encounters can be very unpredictable and uncontrollable.
Two weeks ago, after gathering five of the 11 horses, the BLM took a break from bait trapping due to some community concerns, and the BLM met with constituents to hear their position and potential solutions. The community group submitted ideas that were considered, but they did not address and resolve all of the public safety problems. The BLM has posted the community’s proposals, as well as its information regarding the viability of these solutions, on its website at www.blm.gov.
“While the BLM recognizes that these horses have been part of the community out here for many years, we also have a responsibility to keep wild horses from creating a safety hazard or threatening the well-being of the community and its animals,” said Leon Thomas, Sierra Front Field Manager. “We truly appreciate the ideas people provided us for alternative solutions, but after thoroughly considering each one, they won’t truly eliminate the concerns from other community members. The community has offered a proposal that is a great starting point for working with local residents and the city to ensure we have long-term solutions in place, so we don’t find ourselves in this position again. I’m looking forward to getting the various groups involved.”
Four horses have been struck and killed by vehicles since 2010; however, the Carson City District isn’t always notified of collisions, so this number could be higher. Since June of 2011, the district has removed five stallions in response to complaints. These complaints ranged from concern for the safety of residents’ children, as some of these stallions approached residents’ children in an aggressive manner while the children were riding horses or caring for their own horse, to other stallions that were fighting with domestic horses through fences. In all complaints, there were safety concerns and property damage.
The BLM follows the Code of Federal Regulations 4720.2-1, which mandates the removal of strayed animals from private lands based on written request from landowners. The bait trapping is in response to several complaint letters the BLM has received in past months from private landowners.
The gathered horses will be offered for adoption as soon as possible, hopefully within in the next month or so, at Silver Saddle Ranch, and details will be forthcoming and will be posted on the BLM Nevada website at www.blm.gov.
The appropriate management level for the Pine Nut Mountains HMA is 119 to 179 with a current population of 293, so relocating these horses away from homes to a different part of the HMA would only add to the existing resource issues. Additionally, the horses could move back to the neighborhood if released. Any animals removed will be transported to the Northern Nevada Correctional Center outside Carson City, and prepped for the upcoming adoption.
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