Some bad news re. the Virginia Range horses.
Another Mound House horse was hit on US-50 last night, just west of Centennial Drive in Carson City.
The state is still REFUSING to authorize diversion feeding that the local communities would pay for and who would perform the necessary labor to keep horses off the highway. In fact the officials have said they would go after anyone who does that. This "position" affects all the diversion feed programs on the range, including keeping horses out of Reno and Virginia City.
In the meanwhile the Department of Agriculture is picking up horses and hauling them to the Fallon Livestock Exchange. It appears that the Department is doing this in secret, not publishing various legal notices as required by law and not freeze branding the horses for identification, also required by law.
I'll be taking a complaint to the Attorney General this morning along with copies of the legal sections from the newspaper showing that the required notices were not published. Meanwhile I urge everyone with an interest in these horses to call the Governor's Office and Mr. Hettrick's Office and demand an explanation as to why the state is preventing the traditional control of these horses through feed diversion, why the horses that were picked up haven't been turned over to cooperators, and why horses are showing up in Fallon without the legally required public notices and brands.
There are Virginia Range horses presently standing at the Fallon Livestock Exchange and more are likely to show up.
Here are some phone numbers and email addresses you may wish to use
Governor Gibbons' Office:
For email pleas use the web form: http://gov.state.nv.us/Contact_Us_NORTHX.htm
Deputy Chief of Staff Lynn Hettrick
Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto
Edie Cartwright, Public Affairs
Beware of the BS responses.
1. Feed diversions don't work. (They have been successful for years.)
2. Cooperators won't take the horses. (Of course they will, they always have.)
3. The state is broke. (Then stop preventing the citizens from addressing the problem.)
4. The state can sell the horses. (Only after the public notice and branding requirements are met.)
5. Notices were published. (Advocates have copies of the specific newspapers that the law says the notices have to appear in and there are no notices.)
It is my opinion that in order to fix this situation we can't let the state think we are simply going to let the issue die down. They felt the pressure back when the "Hettrick's Irrigation" incident started, but all indications are that they think we're losing interest and things are returning to "business as usual."
The local citizens and horse groups could have solved this problem but were prevented by the state.