Court Sides With Wild Horse Advocates

A Nevada judge has dismissed a lawsuit asking the BLM to remove horses from rangelands to protect the ecologic balance.
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Editor’s Note: This article was updated March 16 to include additional information obtained by The Horse.

A Nevada U.S. District Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Nevada Association of Counties and the Nevada Farm Bureau Federation asking the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to remove horses from public and private rangelands to protect the ranges’ ecologic balance.

The Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971 federally protects wild horse and burro herds residing on Western rangelands and places them under the BLM’s jurisdiction. The BLM website indicates that more than 20,000 wild horses and burros in resided in Nevada during the last fiscal year; the BLM says Nevada’s maximum management level is about 12,700 animals.

The lawsuit, filed last year, alleged that the BLM violated the act because the agency failed to remove “excess” horses from the Nevada rangelands. The complaint, filed on behalf of Nevada ranchers who graze their livestock on the same ranges, claims that the BLM’s failure to remove the animals resulted in damage to the ranges’ ecological integrity and threatening the ranchers’ livelihoods

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Written by:

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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