Is it really the cattle ranchers and water rights, or simply the BLM’s politically motivated agenda that is destroying what’s left of America’s Mustangs? And why a “non-breeding sanctuary?”
No matter what the plans, or what the arguments, it all accomplishes the same end. The greed, lies, deceit and government corruption surrounding the cruel and tragic annihilation of our wild horses and burros is an American abomination.
It doesn’t take much imagination to see what the destruction of these living, breathing icons of American spirit and freedom represents of this nation as a whole. Is there no one with the power who will stop the rot?
Excerpts cross-posted from the Houston Chronicle via the Associated Press
ELKO, Nev. (Nov 5, 2010) — The Elko County Commission has taken a stand against a proposed wild horse sanctuary in northeast Nevada, partly out of concern that further protection of the mustangs could lead to cutbacks on livestock grazing on federal land.
Madeleine Pickens, the wife of Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens, bought a 14,000-acre ranch in Elko County last month and wants to turn it into a sanctuary called “Mustang Monument.”
She told the commissioners this week it’s the perfect place for such a project, among Nevada’s high desert rangeland and snowcapped mountains. She pictures it turning into a vacation destination for families, with covered wagon rides, campfires, storytellers and ecological activities.
Pickens, founder of the Saving America’s Mustangs foundation, said she has already spent several million dollars developing a business plan when she could have left that money to her daughter.
If the proposal is approved by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the sanctuary would be home to 1,000 mustangs initially and would be a non-breeding sanctuary.
Elko County has no legal jurisdiction, but Commissioner Demar Dahl said he fears it could lead to the conversion of more cattle ranches to horse sanctuaries at the expense of future cattle ranchers. He said he wanted to go on the record against it and the panel agreed on a 3-1 vote.
Commissioner Warren Russell said he fears Pickens will try to buy additional water rights for the ranch.
“We’re very, very touchy with our water in Elko County,” he said.
Pickens said she has no interest in buying water rights.