Wild Horses Nevada. Andy Barron / AP Photo.

Little horse sense in public funding debate of mustang eco-sanctuary study

Wild Horses Nevada. Andy Barron / AP Photo.
Wild Horses Nevada. Andy Barron / AP Photo.

DYLAN WOOLF HARRIS, reporting for the Elko Daily Press writes concerning the next step for Madeleine Pickens’ proposed eco-sanctuary in NE Nevada. Some of the statements made by the people he includes in his article seem to lack basic horse sense, and you wonder where these people come from.

Harris starts his article, “Public funds to pay for horse eco-sanctuary” with:

ELKO — From the onset, certain locals have opposed the idea of a wild horse eco-sanctuary as a tool for managing the range. Objections were raised recently over federal dollars paying for the project’s scoping.

The Northeast Nevada Wild Horse Eco-Sanctuary is to be located about 25 miles south of Wells on more than 500,000 acres of public land and about 14,000 acres of private land. It will be federally owned but privately run.

The eco-sanctuary is in its early stages and still at least one and a half years and many steps down the road.

A year and a half. Let’s see. That would be 2014. It has been so long since Pickens started out on this adventure I cannot remember when she began, but it has been years already. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have used one delaying tactic after another, although they deny it. Simple protocol the BLM says. Perhaps.

It seems that the main issue at this stage is who should pay for the study necessary for the eco-sanctuary to be approved.

Most recently, the Bureau of Land Management hired a contractor — Environmental Management and Planning Solutions Inc. — to guide the development of an environmental impact statement, which will require the company to scope the project, collect and analyze data, and draft the document.

Ralph Sacrison, chairman of the Elko County Natural Resources and Management Advisory Committee, asked Elko District BLM Associate District Manager Dave Overcast at a meeting earlier this month why taxpayers were on the hook for EIS costs. A mining company for instance, he argued, involved with a project on public land would be responsible for funding a similar study.

Sacrison suggested Save America’s Mustangs — the group that will manage the eco-sanctuary and brainchild of Madeleine Pickens — pay the contractor.

“How come, suddenly, when someone wants to study mustangs I (a taxpayer) have to foot the bill?” Sacrison said.

There is more to-ing and fro-ing, but look at this out of the mouth of a local politician:

Committee member and former state assemblyman John Carpenter, who facetiously asked Overcast if those conducting the study were cowboys, doubted EMPSi had any on-the-ground knowledge of wild horses gained through ranching and being around horses.

“I don’t believe any of these people know anything about managing horses. They’ve never lived with wild horses like I have,” he said. “You cannot manage them. Pretty soon they get so mean and they get so smart that you cannot manage them.”

To do so, he said, many large fences would need to be constructed and even then, a permanent concentration of horses could dramatically alter the range.

“These horses are going to kill that country,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter has lived among them and still does not see the truth before his very eyes that cattle who outnumber mustangs 50-1 destroy rangeland, not the horses, and that wild equines actually replenish the land. My stars. Isn’t there anyone sensible who can advise these people so they do not make utter fools of themselves?

Carpenter did make himself a bit useful when he questioned the credentials of the EMSPSi and how much the BLM are paying them.

Look at this round robin of bureaucratic failing.

Yet to be released is the amount the BLM is paying EMPSi. At the advisory board meeting, Carpenter asked how much the contract for the environmental impact statement cost. Overcast said he didn’t have that information with him.

Dobis passed a request made by the Free Press for the contract amount on to contract specialist Susan Corbeil. Corbeil passed the same request on to the BLM State office Public Affairs Specialist Chris Rose.

Rose said he needed to get the information from the project manager and contract specialist — Dobis and Corbeil.

Insert nauseousness here.

So the taxpayer is conceivably being stiffed again by the BLM to mismanage even the simplest task, to set up an eco-sanctuary for wild horses, on lands that are theirs to roam freely to start with (although a small portion has been sold to Pickens for good effect).

What is tragically ridiculous is that wild horses need no management. The lands need no management. They are governed by nature who does a perfect job, and costs mankind nothing. It is when mankind want to exploit these areas for their own gain it all becomes unbalanced. Once they have raped and pillaged, they leave behind a mess they do not know how or care to repair.

Read full report, cited above >>

5 thoughts on “Little horse sense in public funding debate of mustang eco-sanctuary study”

  1. Ms. Pickens Plans have never in my opinion been a good one, Wild Mustangs are what they are not what she wants them to be, they are to be Free Roaming on the Land that Congress unanimously gave to them, this is their Promise from us !!! Not a 3 ring Circus she plans on !!!!! They are to remain Free at all costs , that is why I am here !!!! Not to release them to a Circus , FREE is the main Word , they deserve it, they have earned it , and that is what they should have !!!!!! We will use every avenue we can to insure it !!!!!!!


  2. The point of Wild is to survive. Not to be managed by aliens. Not to have humans making decisions according to some scale. It could be called “survival of the fittest”. A-Ha !! Of course that would mean the removal of “managed/invasive” competitors for food/water supply—and the removal of obstructions to migration routes…is this too scientific for BLM?


  3. Never been a fan of the Pickens Plan for that very reason Barbara. She will turn them into non-producing herds, which means they will eventually be zeroed out. So what is the real reason for it?


    1. I know I can never say anything good about the BLM, BUT I believe this is the BLM’s sinister plan (excuse) to remove all the wild horses from 3 HMA’s. May all BLM employees rot in hell.


  4. This article is correct……the wild horses DO NOT NEED TO BE MANAGED. What should be first in everyone’s mind is that this sanctuary of Pickens will actually REMOVE ALL WILD HORSES FROM 3 HMA’s (Herd Management Areas) TO ALLOW PICKEN’S SANCTUARY TO HAPPEN. That’s a lot of wild horses losing their homes so that Pickens can have a sanctuary with ALL NON-REPRODUCING geldings. This whole sanctuary thing is just another wicked BLM ploy.


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