Elko County giving up to $10,000 for lawsuit against feds over wild horse management
It is the hundreds of thousands of cattle and other livestock that are creating the so called environmental damage Nevada counties are complaining about. Not the far fewer wild horses. Considering the groups behind the lawsuits, its no surprise Elko County is doing this. ~ HfH
ELKO, Nevada — Elko County has agreed to pitch in up to $10,000 to help cover legal fees for a lawsuit filed by two groups with rural Nevada ranching interests that have accused the federal government of mismanagement of wild horses.
The lawsuit claims mismanagement has led to an overpopulation of the mustangs on public lands at the expense of the range and the animals themselves.
The Elko Daily Free Press reports the county commission voted last week to provide $5,000 immediately and another $5,000 if needed in support of the lawsuit, which wild horse advocates say could lead to the slaughter of mustangs.
The Nevada Association of Counties and the Nevada Farm Bureau Federation filed the complaint in U.S. District Court in Reno in December. It maintains that although wild horses and burros have long been a part of Nevada’s landscape and heritage, their populations have grossly exceeded appropriate management levels.
“Wild horse overpopulation creates serious environmental concerns for horses, wildlife, and ecology of rangelands, and creates both direct and indirect economic impacts,” NACO said in a statement.
“Loss of use of public lands as well as the cost of services associated with the health and safety impacts created by the overpopulation of wild horses and burros decreases tax revenues and yet increases the costs that counties must bear.”
NACO President Jeff Fontaine said the group already has spent about $56,000 on the suit and expects total costs to reach about $90,000.