KBR Wild Horse and Burro News

Donald D. Alt and "Pastor Rick" McKinney

  Silver Springs Ranchers
Defy Federal, State Laws

November 9, 2007
Silver Springs, NV
Cattleman Donald D. Alt is not a new name to the US Department of Justice. In 2005 the United States Attorney for the District of Nevada obtained convictions against Mr. Alt and his associate, Mr. Donald Wilson, for grazing cattle on public lands without a permit.

View a clearer PDF version of the US DOJ conviction announcement.

Since that order Mr. Alt appears to have continued to play free and loose with the law, although he seems quick to insist that anyone not supportive of his actions follow every detail of the law.

On at least two occasions Mr. Alt has placed his cattle on a BLM allotment known as Stockton Flat in what according to BLM records was in an unlawful manner. Mr. Alt had a valid winter grazing permit, valid from November 1 through March 31. His cattle were still present on the allotment in June, 2007, witnessed and photographed by a number of citizens.

By his own admission Mr. Alt hates wild horses. 36 Virginia Range wild horses are known to roam on the allotment. During the 2007 drought, wild horse groups provided emergency wildlife water tanks for horses and other wildlife, coordinated by the Nevada Dept. of Agriculture.

June 18th, 2007

Mr. Alt rammed an emergency wildlife water tank with his pickup truck. Mr. Alt was armed at the time. The Sheriff's Department was called.

On October 17th, in the Fernley Justice Court, Mr. Alt admitted to ramming the tank but claimed the event took place on his property.

The plaintiffs presented a copy of Mr. Alt's BLM grazing permit to the judge.

Mr. Alt embarked on a circuitous discussion that nonetheless the land was actually his, which the judge ended by stating that if Mr. Alt couldn't produce a deed, he regarded the allotment as public property. Mr. Alt produced various documents but no deed.

Mr. Alt then argued that he had control over any water on the allotment where he ran his cows.

The judge noted that Mr. Alt's permit had expired the previous March 31st, so by his reckoning there should have been no cows out there at the time the tank was destroyed.

Mr. Alt then presented a new argument, that the (emergency wildlife) tank was luring his cattle down from "his property" onto the allotment. His inference was that it was the tank's fault, not his, that cattle remained on Stockton Flat.

The judge suggested to Mr. Alt that he might want to consider selling those cows and buy some that would "stay at home." He then ordered Mr. Alt to pay for the tank plus court costs.

November 5th, 2007

Volunteers on Stockton Flat noticed that a large concrete cistern next to an old set of cattle corrals had been filled with water. Since the Stockton Flat well was inoperative, this water had to have been trucked in. BLM was notified and said that they would investigate. The volunteers were concerned that the tank filling was a sign that Mr. Alt was either planning to bring cattle back onto the allotment, would carry out threats he had made of putting out Rumensen (a cattle supplement toxic to horses,) or both. Water application is one means that Rumensen is applied.

Volunteers asked BLM for permission to fence off the tank however BLM's response was that fencing off the tank could be construed as an "improvement" that required formal consideration and approval.

To play things safe, volunteers took water samples and turned them over to the State Laboratory.

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