Carson City Oct. 25th Rally Press Release
Posted by Texas Mustang Project on October 26, 2011
Carson City, NV October 25, 2011
At least 61 people from communities in six Nevada counties came to the rally on October 25th. The street in front of the Nevada State Legislature was constantly filled with the sounds of honking horns as motorists traveling through downtown “voiced” their support.
All the region’s television news crews were present including our Spanish language station. The print media was represented including the Associated Press.
The object of the rally was to focus public attention on the mismanagement of the historic Virginia Range herd by the Nevada Department of Agriculture. This herd that Velma “Wild Horse Annie” Johnston first fought to protect falls under the authority of the state, not the Bureau of Land Management.
Management of this herd was traditionally accomplished through non-profit groups that operated under cooperative agreements with the state. About three years ago then-Director of Agriculture Tony Lesperance summarily rescinded all cooperative agreements for the management and control of the horses, for the supervised placement of horses with adopters, and even the saddle starting of horses by the Department of Corrections’ acclaimed inmate horse training program. All these activities were funded by the non-profit groups, not the taxpayers.
This action has, as was predicted, resulted in horses roaming through residential neighborhoods, horses roaming onto highways, horses that have been removed going to kill buyers, and the prison horse training program no longer saddle starting Virginia Range horses.
This demonstration was named “Rally for Solutions.” The participants were protesting incomprehensible actions by the Nevada Department of Agriculture that continue to put both the horses and the public at risk. The demonstrators hope to put enough pressure to bear that the department returns to some sensible and workable management models that
protect the herd, that protect the public, that protect horses that have to be removed and that don’t have to rely on dwindling tax support. It appears that the rally has achieved just that.
Immediately after the rally many of the advocates worked until well after dark taking in a large number of horses from a Bureau of Indian Affairs impound that will now be assured safe homes or sanctuary. The allied groups, that have taken in over 1,000 horses since the beginning of 2010, will continue to solve problems on the range and “in the corrals” in cooperation with agencies that wish to achieve solutions to free roaming horse issues and ensure humane placement of horses that have been removed.