August 6, 2008

BLM has a decision to make Sept. regarding wild horse population

WorldNow and KRNV

The Bureau of Land Management says it has some tough decisions to make in September regarding increases in wild horse population and the rising cost of maintaining the "symbol" of Nevada.

The BLM says Nevada's wild horse population is at a turning point. They are caught between dwindling food supplies and a government agency facing an economic squeeze.

There is a national advisory board meeting scheduled for September where one way or another a decision will be made on what to do with 30,000 wild horses in Nevada.

The BLM says the best solution would be to find people to adopt the horses and provide for them but there are more than 1,100 horses at the Palomino Valley BLM facility.

Scott Kandel, a horse trainer with a former wild horse of his own, says adoptions are down dramatically because of the price of hay, fuel and the economy.

According to the BLM, it cost them $37 million to care for the horses, an estimated cost of $58 million is expected in 2009 and an incredible $72 million estimated for 2012.

Another option that has sent wild horse advocates and been a public relations nightmare for the BLM is the possible use of euthanizing to control the population.

Northern Nevada cattleman, Ed Depaoli, says there is room for a certain number of horses but in some places they have outstripped the habitat.

"They've cost me a lot of time and consternation but when you see where they live and how they live, you gotta have respect for them," Depaoli said.

The BLM has a meeting scheduled in September.

KRNV Wild Horse Crisis Video