Shutdown leaves horses without water

Wild Horses in Elko NV

From: Elko Daily Free Press
By: Dylan Woolf Harris

ELKO — While Washington politicks over a government shutdown, wild horses on the range could be dying of thirst.

elko nevadaCarlin resident Jackie Wiscombe, who for the past two years has contracted with the Bureau of Land Management to haul water to horses, said she’s been told to stop.

“Due to the government shutdown, these animals are in dire consequences of no water available,” she said. “… They are basically dependent on water being hauled to them.”

Wiscombe had watered an area 15 miles north of Currie and another in Ruby Valley about every five days. She was going to continue hauling water to the horses through the end of November, she said.

On Wednesday, she informed the county commission, saying horses could very well be dying.

Commissioners — who commended Wiscombe for bringing the issue to light — were worried about the horses and frustrated by the apparent lack of contingency planning by those in charge.

“What I’m concerned about is who’s responsible for these kind of management decisions?” Commissioner Demar Dahl said, “where you’d make the decision to start watering these horses, and then we say, ‘OK, now because we’re shut down, quit drinking.’”

Dahl wanted to know how many horses are left without water and dying.

“It doesn’t matter whether you love horses or hate horses,” he said. “It’s just egregious to think that you’re going to put them in a position where they depend on you and then walk away.”

Washed out roads complicated the problem, Wiscombe said. One spot hadn’t been watered for about a month because the road was impassable.

“We could go investigate and find out if they are dying. If they are, the county has a water truck, we can go haul water out there,” Dahl said. The county also has a bulldozer, he added, to level washed out roads.

However, a county water-hauling project would need to be approved as an agenda item, according to County Manager Rob Stokes. If residents decided to haul water with private equipment, though, it wouldn’t be a county issue.

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AUTHOR: Posted by Habitat for Horses Calaway
19 Comments
  • Unbelievable! Sometimes people should just step up – even if it’s outside their “comfort zone” and do the right thing!! Get the horses water!!

    October 11, 2013
  • Arlene

    This is the time to set them free, back to where they belong !!!!!!!

    October 11, 2013
  • I AM SO UPSET WITH OUR GOVERNMENT AT THIS TIME !

    WHAT DO THEY THINK THEY ARE DOING ? JUST SPENDING

    OUR MONEY FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE WEALTHY ? COME

    ON ! NEXT ELECTION THEY WILL BE LOOKING FOR NEW

    JOBS, EVEN THOUGH, THEY WILL LEAVE WITH MORE

    BENEFITS THAN THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE MAKE !

    I AM SO FED UP ! THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT ANY OF OUR

    CREATURES OR THE CRUELTY THEY HAVE TO LIVE WITH

    UNTIL THE ANIMALS DIE. MAYBE THEY WOULD DO

    SOMETHING IF THEY COULD NOT HAVE ANYTHING TO

    DRINK !!

    October 11, 2013
    • Mary Jane Tytko

      I agree that God’s beautiful, innocent creatures should not suffer because of human greed and ignorance.

      In addition to expressing frustration about “government” you should find out why this shut-down occurred. It is (in theory) a government “of the people, by the people and for the people”. So I recommend you find out how your elected US congressman, Mark Amodei, (I believe you’re in Nevada’s 2nd district) voted on the shutdown. Contact him at:
      Washington, DC office: 202-225-6155
      Elko, NV office: 775-777-7705
      Reno, NV office: 775-686-5760

      If he doesn’t support your views, vote him out. If he does support your views, encourage him to press this case more forcefully.

      I’m doing what I can in NY to indicate to my Senators and Representatives that a government shutdown and non-payments of debts is ill-advised and immoral. And, I present my arguments to my family, friends, and neighbors. And I vote in every election, every year.

      If all of us would do the small things we can do (even though we don’t have the kabillions of dollars the 1% have) we could make this a better world.

      And please forgive me for butting into the issues of your state. I just have a strong belief that we are intended to be the United States of America.

      October 11, 2013
      • Nancy

        Mark Amodei doesnt give a you know what about these horses…he sends out form letters…hes a jerk along with Dean Heller and Harry Reid…contacted all 3 all three responded with thier cute little form letter…they do not care…plain and simple

        October 13, 2013
        • Nancy Albin

          they need to set them free so they can care for themselves like they have for centuries blm gov they dont have the money to care for them then why abuse them they are wild they know how to care for eachother!!! this is animal abuse as far as i can see so they can break the law & we can’t.

          October 14, 2013
  • I’d like to commend both Ms. Wiscombe and the county commissioners. If you read the article, Ms. Wiscombe said she is going to continue watering through November. That’s two months into the shutdown (assuming it’s not ended by then) without pay. It does not sound as if she is just walking away. She has brought the situation to light to the people who can fix it. Kudos to her and Mr. Dahl for at least trying to do the right thing. Now it’s up to the county and Mr. Stokes to fix a mess they didn’t even create (which is typical for politics).

    October 11, 2013
  • Nancy Albin

    but how do residents get water trucks? & also what about the fire department can’t they go water & feed the horses? I mean if they can go save a kitten from a tree then can’t they go feed & water these imprisoned horses & burros? I mean because they are prisoners of the government just like the Indians were. It states that the prisons & courts are still working so these horses are in a prison also & they are a living thing an Animal we are Animals so I thought i was uneducated geeze i feel like this country is being ran by stupid bullies with alot of greed

    October 11, 2013
  • Terra

    Are these free roaming horses or BLM wild Mustangs in holding pens? If they are in holding pens then the BLM should open the gates and let them free are face animal cruelty charges. If they are free roaming then they never should have started watering them in the first place and should have let the herd move on and let mother nature take care of its own.

    October 11, 2013
  • Robyn

    This is unacceptable from the govt.down.
    This makes me so mad!!

    October 11, 2013
  • Jennie Barron

    Since the government decided to make the shutdown a political argument instead of adhereing to the recent agreements to fund those things that need to be funded and to pass only those bills that aren’t garbage (I refer to such things as a bill recently passed to have a National Chess Day — good grief the wasteful spending has to stop) …while the BLM holding facilities are over populated, many still receive their thousand dollars per day to have the horse at their holding facility, the wild horses on the public ranges must be taken care of no matter what. The BLM designed it’s Wild Horse and Burro Program to make sure they can make the rules. We suggested that they use a holistic method of land and animal management, but this is not holistic, this is neglect and abuse by the Department of Interior, and our gracious politicians who will never suffer losing one day’s pay for what they are doing, and as a matter of fact, are getting paid extra for being called back to the senate, congress, and House of Representatives floor to discuss and to spread propaganda speeches prepared just for this shutdown. I am sick of the politicians who are denying these services, and who refuse to understand that there is laws to follow for them as well as us. This has to stop, now! The people of the U.S. need to start calling their politicians and demanding that they stop this farce and stop charging the U.S. citizens for their squabbles …this is costing this country millions of dollars each day, which could be spent on things like water for the horses, for Pete’s sake! This is posted by me and for the group https://www.facebook.com/WildHorseHubCentral

    October 11, 2013
  • sherriey

    WHAT????!!!! can anyone do anything to help these animals? HUS, SPCA, any of the local rescues??? anyone???? WTF….are they just suppose to die? PLEASE….SOMEONE OUT THERE HELP THESE HORSES…PISS ON THE FRIKKIN INCOMPETENT GOVERNMENT AND THEIR FRIKKIN LAWS GET WATER TO THEM SOMEHOW!!!! if i lived there you bet your butts they would have water!

    October 11, 2013
    • sherriey

      as i see it, the gov has broken the law…its against the law to neglect an animal! after all, the horse rescue orgs and the law take common people to court everyday over neglect cases. this is the biggest neglect case i have ever witnessed! the HUS and SPCA and local rescues need to file a neglect case against the fed gov. it can be done. this needs attention NOW!

      October 11, 2013
  • Tamara

    First they STEAL “OUR” HORSES – now “THEY” are KILLING THEM ! These are AMERICA’s Horses – WE THE PEOPLE – Not BLM Not the GOV. ! OURS!
    They need to keep away from them ! Leave them alone !

    October 11, 2013
  • Sue

    The horses on a washed out road, no one checked on them for over a month….

    Hm? Where ARE those wire cutters?

    October 11, 2013
  • Donna Orr

    Haul you stupid people

    October 11, 2013
  • Corlia

    Time for civil disobedience. Either give them water, or set them free. Do the right thing.

    October 11, 2013
  • Little Feather

    Are you KIDDING me???? GET THESE HORSES SOME WATER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 12, 2013