Feral horses run rampant across the West with “roughly 50,000” in Nevada. As a result, Senator Ira Hansen (R-14th district) is calling on federal officials “to address Nevada’s wild horse overpopulation problem” in rural parts of the state, according to News 4.
Calling the overpopulation an “ecological catastrophe,” Hansen wants officials to bring feral horse numbers back to an appropriate management level of 7,000 to 14,000 horses. Elk, antelope and bighorn sheep must compete for food and water in areas where wild horses are unmanaged, causing stress to native wildlife and damage to key habitat and riparian areas.
“The sheer numbers, their reproductive capacity, water scarcity, and the vexing vegetation degradation, simply make the situation untenable,” said Hansen. “It is imperative the Federal Government be compelled to action and quickly conduct a herd size reduction campaign.”
Wild horse roundups, which are somewhat controversial among horse and animal activists, have already begun in rangelands near Elko and Ely. Officials plan to remove about 3,000 horses from those areas to either be adopted or taken to off-range pastures, reports News 4. These roundups are based upon seven counties declaring a state of emergency because of the horse population, which Hansen is using to issue a “clarion call” for Congressional action.
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