Mound House / Virginia Range Horse Update: Friday, October 15, 2010… Have your cake and eat it too?
Posted by Texas Mustang Project on October 15, 2010
Here’s a Mound House / Virginia Range update for Friday, October 15th:
Hey Lesperance! So, you wanna have your cake, and eat it too?
Sorry, that dog just won’t hunt!
Yesterday, another horse was hit on US-50 near to Centennial Drive while crossing the highway to Hettrick’s field. The recent rains caused a large puddle to cover a portion of the “painted” cattle guard and the horses learned to ignore it. There was also a horse hit in the Damonte Ranch subdivision in Reno.
In both situations, the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDoA) prevented local citizens and groups from diverting the horses back into the hills.
In contrast, in Dayton horses have also entered a subdivision adjacent to US-50 when some fences were taken down to accommodate recreational improvements at the Santa Maria River Park. However, in this instance the County and the adjacent developer took the lead and met with local citizens and horse groups – and they kept the State out of the issue. New fencing will be constructed that will not only enhance safety at the park, but will discourage horses from entering developed areas while still allowing access to the river for recreational users and rafting enthusiasts.
Such are the approaches that communities have historically used to mitigate “horse problems.”
NDoA Director Tony Lesperance was quoted as saying that the “department no longer manages the Virginia Range herd”. My question is that if NDoA is out of the horse management business, why is the department preventing the local communities from doing so? Kind of doesn’t make sense.
Also, I nailed NDoA for illegally selling horses. There are FIVE Virginia Range horses presently at the Fallon Livestock Exchange. The Department planned to sell them starting this coming week. Yesterday, I hand delivered three weeks’ worth of newspapers from Storey County to the AG’s office showing that the legally required estray “pick up” notices and the required sale notices were never published in that county. TWO separate notices are required, the second being placed no sooner than the 6th “working day” following the first.
(Even though the horses are technically “feral” an estray notice is required when they are picked up just in case someone’s escaped private livestock were among the animals captured.)
“A notice of the estray, with a full description, giving brands, marks and colors thereon, must be published in a newspaper published at the county seat of the county in which the estray was taken up.” NRS 569.070(2)
“before the Department may sell feral livestock, the Department must publish notice of the sale of the feral livestock in a newspaper published at the county seat of the county in which the gathering of the feral livestock occurred.” NRS 569.075(2)
The legally recognized newspaper for Storey County is the Comstock Chronicle.
NDoA finally admitted that they didn’t place proper legal notices. (They were placed in the Fernley Leader in Lyon County.) After an argument in which she insisted that there weren’t any newspapers in Storey County, JoAnn Mothershead then tried to blame Daryl Peterson. That came after I pointed out that an editor from one of the papers in Storey County sent me three weeks’ worth of the Comstock Chronicle that had all the legal notices for the county except NDoA, and I also mentioned that I had forwarded those papers to the Attorney General’s office.
Ms. Mothershead at NDoA said that the notices would be republished in the correct papers.
Also the horses sent to the Fallon Livestock Exchange were apparently neither branded or microchipped, another issue that needs to be resolved.
“Estrays and feral livestock must be marked, branded or identified with an individual animal identification before sale or placement.” NRS 569.080(4)
Ms. Mothershead complained about having to deal with the Virginia Range horses. I pointed out that except for having to publish an estray notice when horses are picked up, the Department could simply drop the horses off at one of the cooperating horse groups. On the 6th day following the publication of the estray notice the horses could be “legally” turned over to the group. For that matter, the cooperative agreement could make the group responsible for microchipping the horses before taking legal possession, as well as require reimbursement to the Department for the costs of the legal notices. Slam dunk. Less hassle and no expense for the state. No Virginia Range horses going to the kill buyers.
The problem appears to be that Tony Lesperance doesn’t want any of the responsibility but wants all of the control. Ergo the horses and public continue to suffer.
NDoA, JoAnn Mothershead 775-738-8076
Attorney General’s Ofc., Edie Cartwright, PAO 775-684-1189
Fallon Livestock Exchange: Monte Bruck 775-426-8279