RENO, Nev. (Mynews4.com & KRNV) - "I'd like to see much more cooperation," said a wild horse advocate during public comment at the Nevada Department of Agriculture's quarterly board meeting. It was a packed house with more than 50 signed up to speak.
Wild horse management was not on the agenda but dozens spoke out against current practices by the Department. Recently traps have been set on private land in the Damonte Ranch area at the request of land owners. Those traps have led to emotionally charged protests and forced law enforcement officials to be on hand to keep the peace as well as prevent tampering of the traps.
“Every time we go out in the field these days it's based on public safety," said Ed Foster, Department Spokesperson. Foster says the traps are set up based on citizen complaints and if complaints continue, they will continue to set traps.
"We just want to help," said Bonnie Matton President of the Wild Horse Preservation League. Matton, like other advocates believes the Department should bring back cooperative agreement that allows advocacy groups to help. "We want to help and we know what we're doing. It would cost nothing to the taxpayer. It would cost nothing to the Department of Agriculture," said Matton.
Foster says the cooperative agreement was abolished after wild horses that had been purchased by advocacy groups were found back on the range. Current Director Jim Barbee has decided not to re-negotiate the agreement.
No action was taken at this meeting. Advocates say they are pleased with the turnout and hope their voices were heard.