Nevada Governor Urges Relaxed Grazing Restrictions as Drought Wanes
RENO, Nev. (AP) — Gov. Brian Sandoval is urging the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to reconsider livestock grazing restrictions in northeast Nevada, saying that may now be unwarranted given a wet winter that has drought conditions on the mend.
The Republican governor who recently called for expedited roundups of wild horses in Nevada says the agency's current management scheme wrongly prioritizes mustangs ahead of ranchers — a matter of much debate for decades in the 10 western states where the mustangs roam from California to Colorado. Sandoval said widespread precipitation has provided healthy forage and water resources in areas stung by five consecutive years of drought. Sandoval said he's concerned about the growing over-population of horses. He said the proposed action "prioritizes wild horse populations above livestock producers." Nevada is home to nearly 28,000 wild horses — more than half of the 47,000 estimated in the West. BLM argues the range can sustain less than half that many — about 12,000 in Nevada and 26,000 nationally.