By Kurt Hildebrand, Record-Courier
Local wild horse advocates are encouraging residents to attend a meeting held by the Bureau of Land Management on its resource management plan.
The meeting is 5-7 p.m. Thursday at the Carson Valley Inn.
Sheila Schwadel of the Pine Nut Wild Horse Advocates said the plan will affect how wild horses are managed in Western Nevada.
“We need residents to speak up for the Fish Springs wild horses in Gardnerville,” Schwadel said. “The plan is the definitive guideline for management of the natural, cultural and recreational resources of our public lands for the next 10-20 years, including the native wild horses.”
Schwadel said the advocates were formed to protect and conserve wild horse bands that frequent the Fish Springs area, which lies outside the Pine Nut herd management area.
“We are working with American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign and Return to Freedom on the pilot fertility control program with the end goal of keeping the Fish Springs horses wild and free on public lands,” Schwadel said.
After a series of meetings in 2013 in Fish Springs, federal officials started a pilot program to use a drug that reduces fertility in mares to slow population growth.
Since then, however, the Bureau of Land Management has announced it is rounding up 332 wild horses within and outside the Pine Nut Herd Management Area later this month. Of those, 132 will be released back into the wild. An estimated 66 mares will receive a 22-month porcine zona pellucida immunocontraceptive vaccine treatment prior to release, to reduce their fertility.
For more information about the Fish Springs horses visit www.wildhorseadvocates.org, or Facebook under Pine Nut Wild Horse Advocates or call Schwadel at 782-6128.
For more information on the gather, visit http://on.doi.gov/1z4l07c