Water troughs for Fish Springs herd vandalized

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A member of the Fish Spring wild horse herd. Photo by J.T. Humphrey

As published by The Record-Courier

Not everyone appears to be happy about a deal struck between the Bureau of Land Management and the Pine Nut Wild Horse Association.

A police report has been filed after advocates found someone shot up the water tanks supplying the horses on Monday.

“We thought it was just kids,” Advocate Social Media Director Mary Cioffi said. “We patched the tanks yesterday and filled them. Came out this morning and someone shot them up again.”

The Bureau of Land Management confirmed on Friday that they will work with local wild horse advocates on a plan to manage the Fish Springs herd.

BLM Spokeswoman Lisa Ross confirmed an announcement made earlier on Friday by the Pine Nut Wild Horse Advocates that a proposal to round up about 70 horses in the Fish Springs herd is on hold.

“Following conversations with community members, the BLM will suspend a wild horse gather operation in the Fish Springs area near Gardnerville,” Ross said. “The BLM appreciates the commitment of all local area residents to work cooperatively toward positive outcomes. Additionally, the BLM looks forward to continuing its long-standing relationship with the Fish Springs community as we work together to find community-based management solutions that are in the best interests of both the area residents and the wild horses.”

Pine Nut Wild Horse Advocate Board member Sheila Schwadel said the group met with the Department of the Interior.

“They understand this is a local issue about a specific group of horses,” she said. “They like that we have a plan.”

That plan includes incremental removal of horses, improving range conditions by reseeding and fencing off sensitive areas.

“This will lead to better management and improve the range,” Deniz Bolbol said.

The organization will also continue adoption of wild horses.

“They heard that we had a plan, and have passion, so they said let’s make this work,” she said. “The federal government should be responsive.”

Cioffi said the group has offered to handle trapping removal and adoptions themselves.

“Only the locals know these historical bloodlines and will take into consideration the genetics,” Cioffi said. “After five years of tireless work I believe the local advocates have earned the right to be treated with respect. The Fish Spring horses are different and deserve to be treated differently.”

Two weeks ago, 300 residents packed into the Fish Springs Volunteer Fire Department to discuss the decision to round up the herd.