CARSON CITY, NV (KRNV & Mynews4.com) - Wild horse roundups are a controversial topic in Nevada and across the country. But at a public meeting at the Bureau of Land Management office in Carson City today, that was not the only issue.
The BLM holds an annual public comment meeting at one of their district offices each spring. The topic at this meeting was the use of motorized vehicles and aircraft during wild horse and burro roundups. "I'm totally against that. I think it's a horrific way to treat the horses," said Carson City resident Rosette Moltz. Moltz showed up too late for the meeting and was not able to put her comments on the record.
Wild horse advocates who were not able to make it say they were not given proper notification of this public comment meeting. "I have Google alerts and I didn't see it. Nobody really knew about it," said Cat Kindsfather. She was at the meeting representing Protect Mustangs, an advocacy group in California. The organization put out a letter in the past few days that read "Breaking News: Government transparency and public process jeopardized." Anne Novak is Executive Director of Protect Mustangs. She says she only found out about the meeting a few days ago and did not have time to make arrangements to attend. "The whole country should be given adequate notice to participate in person as well as via email," said Novak.
The BLM put out a release on May 18th, that's just five business days before the meeting. The meeting was also listed on their website. But Novak says that is not good enough. She believes the BLM should give 30 days notice.
BLM Wild horse and burro Specialist John Axtell was in charge of the meeting. Axtell says the BLM is not required to give 30 days notice and this is the first time they have received a complaint like this. "In the past we haven't had much interest at this office. Often people who show up are all local," said Axtell.
But wild horse advocates say that is not true. They brought statements from people from across the country to the meeting. "The issue is about motorized vehicles, helicopters and such, and that applies to America's wild horses which are all American people's horses," said Kindsfather.
Only four people spoke out at today's meeting. BLM officials say due to the low turnout they will allow people to send in their comments until June 12, 2012.