by: Jared Fisher
My family has owned and raised horses for decades. I admire horses for their noble beauty and for the important role they have played in shaping the history of the American West. Wild horses and burros should always have a place in Nevada. Prudence, however, dictates that proper management policies be implemented to control their population growth. Currently, Nevada’s wild horses and burros are damaging or destroying thousands of acres through over-grazing and trampling. I have witnessed this firsthand through my most recent ride around Nevada on the Listening Tour.
Most of Nevada’s horses are not true “mustangs”, but rather feral animals that have escaped private ownership over the decades. Similarly, Nevada’s wild burros are generally the offspring of mules brought to Nevada to work in the mines and then later abandoned.
Today, Nevada’s wild horse population is 34,780 and the wild burro population is 2,931. The Calculated AML (Appropriate Management Level), however, is 12,811, making the total horse and burro population three times the estimated carrying capacity compatible with other resources. What’s more, because wild horse and burro populations typically double their size every four to five years, if no action is taken, these numbers are only expected to rise.
The wild horses and burros are threatening the future of Nevada’s native wildlife and plants and are causing damage to precious wet meadows, water sources, riparian habitats and watersheds. They also threaten the future management options for the sage grouse initiative, which has significant implications for Nevada.
I have always strongly believed in the humane treatment of all animals. Our humanity requires nothing less. It is for this reason that I believe excess horses and burros should be removed by capture whenever financially and logistically possible.
Nevada’s native deer, elk, antelope, bighorn sheep and domestic livestock numbers are required to be controlled. Why should Nevada’s native horses and burros be an exception?
As Nevada’s governor, I will support the continuation of well-managed populations of wild horses and burros. I will honor the recommendations of the skilled resource managers and scientists employed by our federal and state resource agencies, including the Nevada Department of Wildlife.
This will result in a healthier Nevada for all.
Legal Status: Federally protected and managed under the “Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971”. Protection only applies to federal lands in the west managed by the BLM and Forest Service.
About Fisher for Nevada: FisherforNevada.com is the official campaign website of Jared Fisher, candidate in the 2018 Nevada governor election. Jared Fisher is running on a platform for a Healthy Nevada, which includes a focus on a strong education system, a diversified economy and renewable energy.