KBR Wild Horse and Burro News

New band replaces old

  New Wild Horses Move Into
Santa Maria Ranch Subdivision

Story date: November 26, 2006

Dayton, NV -- Four months following the controversial trapping of the town's band of wild horses, a new band of horses have appeared in the Santa Maria Ranch subdivision.

The original horses were picked up by the Nevada Department of Agriculture after complaints originated from within the development over horses dining on newly installed sod lawns. The state has jurisdiction over the Virginia Range herd.

Wild horse advocates and the state's livestock inspector who watches over the Virginia Range horses tried to explain that oftentimes when one band of horses is removed, another band will naturally move into the vacated rangeland, however the developer did not install fencing to keep additional horses out.

The crux of the problem lies in the paradox of Nevada's fencing laws. Planned residential developments can be permitted in existing open range, once a city or county approves a development local fencing requirements supersede the state's "fence out" law. Unless the County requires developers in open range to fence out roaming wildlife, livestock and wild horses, they don't have to. As a result the taxpayers and wild horse groups must bear the continued expense of removing horses and trying to place them with adopters. And in many cases, new bands of wild horses will migrate into these developments built in their historic rangelands until some permanent mitigation measures are put into place.

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