NV “Moundhouse” Horse Updates
Posted by Texas Mustang Project on September 24, 2010
An interim solution for the “Moundhouse” horses that were crossing US-50 was put in place yesterday (Thursday.) The NV Dept. of Agriculture got permission from Carson City Parks to install a small drift fence on either side of Centennial Drive and paint a “fake” cattle guard across the road to connect the two fences. It is hoped that this project will prevent the horses from walking down the road and crossing busy US-50 to get to unfenced irrigated pasture on the other side of the highway.
Materials were provided by volunteers and horse groups. The project was supervised by NDoA Inspector Daryl Peterson and former VRE Horse Manager Mike Holmes, with volunteers provided by LRTC and the Wild Horse Preservation League. Peterson and Holmes also contributed a lot of labor in getting the fence installed. If the horses are not deterred by the painted cattle guard, the Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund has offered to donate one of their NDoT steel cattle guards.
It appears that NDoA is not setting precedent in the sense that the agency is now going to go around and solve everyone’s problems when they don’t want to put up a legal fence in our “fence out” state. In this instance NDoA stepped up to solve a real public safety problem involving horses attracted across a busy highway, and they achieved results without having to spend scarce tax dollars. We thank the department for taking such a stance.
The work at this horse crossing is concurrent with a concerted effort by the horse groups, lead by the Wild Horse Preservation League, and by the Lyon County Sheriff’s Department, to end illegal feeding of horses in areas close to the highway and to discourage putting out water. The Moundhouse horses have sufficient water available from a spring located behind the quarry that is back in the hills a safe distance from the highway.
While working on the “cattle guard” Inspector Peterson received a call about a Virginia Range horse caught in a corral panel out at the Asamara Ranch on the other side of the county. Mike Holmes and the volunteers responded and found a young stud that had been hanging from a corral panel for some time. The horse was eventually freed by a team of volunteers. The horse was pretty lame from this ordeal, but eventually was able to walk on his own.
While there Holmes discovered a corral in which seven Virginia Range horses had been trapped and left without water. They can be seen in the upper left corner of the first photograph. Here is a close-up of that corral, photographed from the location where the stud was being rescued.
Holmes released the horses and notified Inspector Peterson.
The issue here also involved water. Stockman Vince Ferriera has been given permission to graze his cattle on this property but the water belongs to the Highlands Group, LLC. In a Stagecoach town meeting two years ago Paul Kenner, representing the Highlands Group, informed the townspeople and Town Board that the water could be used for cattle, but would also remain available for horses and wildlife. He assured the town that none of the activities on the property would exclude the horses from water.
Traditionally the water tank at Mr. Ferriera’s cattle corrals was kept enclosed so he could manage his stock but other sources remained accessible to other animals. This summer Mr. Ferriera fenced off all the sources of water on the property causing some horses to get injured trying to get to water, and causing many others leaving their traditional areas and to congregate next to US-95A near where a spring is found. The collection of horses near 95A has contributed to road accidents over the summer.
Members of the Lyon County Animal Control Advisory Board and the Town Board secretary witnessed the occurrences on Asamara Ranch. This matter will be researched to determine if the trapping of the horses without giving due notice to the Department is a violation of the provisions in NRS Chapter 569, and the corralling of horses without providing water violates Title 7 of the Lyon County Code. If such determinations are made, charges may be requested.