Horse News

NV State Proposal May Allow Groups to Manage Virginia Range Wild Horses

Source: Multiple

It will save the state “hundreds of thousands of dollars”

Virginia Range HorsesThe Nevada Senate is set to consider allowing the state to enter agreements with advocacy groups to manage wild horses in the state.

Members of the Senate Natural Resources Committee are considering AB264 Tuesday.

The bill originally prohibited unauthorized people from feeding or taking wild horses from state lands, but a proposed amendment is expected to be introduced at the bill’s hearing that would add a new dimension to the proposal.

The amendment would allow the state government to enter into agreements with advocacy groups to help manage the Virginia Range herds of wild horses.

Republican Assemblyman Jim Wheeler of Minden is proposing the amendment. He says it will save the state “hundreds of thousands of dollars” by letting advocacy groups get involved.

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15 replies »

  1. What a thought provoking idea! Can a state take control of a situation like this over the Feds? Is there currently livestock on the Virginia Range? Questions? Questions?

    Madeleine Pickens says she cannot get the DOI and the BLM to allow her to provide private ranges. Who owns the Virginia Range?

    Sorry if I am a bit simple about this; I had a sudden bolt of joy – but find myself bouncing around from expecting the best to preparing for the worse. Can we help with emails, phone calls, ???


    • The Virginia Range, although it is home to Wild Horse Annie’s Herd, was too small to be considered for HMA status therefore the horses there were never protected under the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971. It is public land but it and the horses are under the jurisdiction of the State of Nevada.

      This will be a major step forward. Attempts to get the State out of the wild horse business have been going on for sometime. Persistence has nearly paid off.

      As long as people will continue to support the advocates of Nevada with donations and adoptions the problem of Annie’s horses being sold off to kill buyer’s and sent to slaughter will remain a mute point. More fencing can be built to keep them safe from highway traffic and the general public can be educated to stop feeding them which lures them into neighborhoods and towns.

      But this take money. I recommend you take make your next donation to Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund…


  2. Hmmmm…does that mean land owners, public land lessees and anyone with a state recognition for wild equines could “care” for wild equines in NV?

    What is the definition of “care”, who or what organization qualifies and how will it be coordinated between Fed, state and private entities?

    This could get ugly.


  3. Question is how will the groups manage and what’s more protect and preserve them in their natural state. many potential ;pitfalls here, but can’t imagine a;nything worse than what the state of Nevada has done to them.


  4. This may be “seat of your pants” legislation. What about population control? Who does that? Still a lot of issues that need to be nailed down. More to it than just feeding or taking care of them.


    • My sister has three wild horses from the Lahonton range thar need rehoming, this is a hardship case.

      Any help, leads, and prayers appreciated.


  5. Perhaps the Corolla Wild Horses could be used as a model (or parts of it)? There will, undoubtedly, be issues that still need to be resolved.

    The Wild Horses of Corolla on the Currituck Outer Banks
    In 1977, well before the horse sanctuary was created, a management plan for the Corolla wild horse herd was developed, which called for a maximum herd size of 60 horses. However, more recent equine genetics studies recommend a minimum herd size of 110 horses as a genetically viable number for a wild horse herd. Attempts by the Corolla Wild Horse Fund to revise the plan to a genetically healthy number of horses have been met with resistance and many believe that the horses are facing a potential genetic collapse. Visit the Corolla Wild Horse Fund for the latest information and updates.

    Visiting the Corolla / Currituck Outer Banks Horses:
    Visitors in 4WD vehicles are able to view the horses by driving along the beach and on sandy side roads. However, it is important to note that feeding or getting closer than 50 feet to a wild horse is an arrestable offense in Currituck County. Visitors without 4WD transportation may choose from several wild horse tours, including:


  6. Actually, I believe that number needs to be higher than 110 in order to maintain genetic diversity:
    Genetic Diversity and Viability

    A leader in the field of equine population genetics is Dr. Gus Cothran, Director of the Equine Blood Typing Research Laboratory at the University of Kentucky. In addition to blood and hair samples collected from horse breeds around the world, Dr. Cothran has been analyzing blood samples from U.S. wild horses.

    Based on his DNA analysis, Dr. Cothran now believes that the minimum wild horse and burro herd size is 150-200 animals. Within a herd this large, about 100 animals will be of breeding age. Of those 100, approximately 50 horses would comprise the genetic effective population size. These are the animals actually contributing their genes to the next generation. Dr. Cothran has stated that 50 is a minimum number. A higher number would decrease the chances for inbreeding.


  7. The Virginia Range Wild Horses are a big part of Nevada history. It seems that a partnership could be formed with the Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs.

    CARSON CITY, Nev. – Leaders in the tourism industry gathered at the Nevada State Legislature today to share the message that “Tourism Works for Nevada,” the theme of this year’s Tourism Day, Claudia Vecchio, director of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, announced today.

    The day’s theme highlights the fact that tourism is the No. 1 industry in Nevada, accounting for $2.7 billion in state and local tax revenue, or 26 percent of the state’s total tax revenue.


  8. There are people who can pull this off but it will have to keep working for decades to come and there will have to be outreach to get people involved in the future. And training. Good luck out there!!!


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