By Bonnie Matton, RGJ.com
When JohnD and Kay Winters, original owners of the ranch which is now part of the Santa Maria Ranch development, no horses came onto the area, as all of their fences were kept in good condition and gates were always kept closed.
Unfortunately, after the land was bought for developing, that changed, and the wild horses started causing damage to private and public landscaping.
Unfortunately, these horses also started crossing U.S. Highway 50 East on a daily basis, creating a problem to themselves and humans alike. So after several meetings between Dayton's Wild Horse Preservation League (WHPL), Lyon County Parks and Recreation employees and the Santa Maria Ranch Homeowners Association (HOA), they came up with solutions to help keep wild horses safety where they belong.
The plan is to surround the subdivision with a secure, barbless wire fence. Tim Hall, on the board of HOA, is the resident labor coordinator for the project, spending a considerable amount of time and effort on obtaining the least expensive fencing costs, etc.
The HOA is purchasing the fencing materials, while wild horse advocates will provide most of the labor for the first phase.
The fencing will not impact established hiking trails within and near the subdivision.
Hall said, "I see this joint effort as an opportunity to meet all our goals, both wild horse advocates and homeowners alike. WHPL was the real 'spark plug' in getting this whole project up and running; and as time goes on, I see projects such as this will help to motivate our residents in becoming more involved in caring for and improving our HOA community as a whole."
The work party began on November 17, and Terry Strickland, responsible for maintaining the landscaping at Santa Maria Ranch, provided the technical leadership and oversaw the project. Once installed, he will maintain the fence.
Willis Lamm of Least Resistance Training Concepts out of Stagecoach, said, "All of the different factions working here together (the fence was completed in only three hours), accomplish feats without having to have taxpayers fit the bill."
He continued, "Once the final section of fence is completed, the horses will help reduce the fire fuel load on the open range, and their sightings can be enjoyed by HOA residents without creating a hazard to those living in the development."