BLM, community square off over Fish Springs wild horse issue

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Wild horse in the brush. Google image. Photographer not specified.
Wild horse in the brush. Google image. Photographer not specified.

Local residents gathered at the Bureau of Land Management field office in Carson City Wednesday, amid concerns over pending action that may include removal of wild horses.

The area known as Fish Springs, three miles southeast of Gardnerville, is home to scattered bands of wild horses that have become part of the landscape to property owners over the past 20 years. The situation came to a head recently, when residents provided supplemental watering tanks for the horses.

The BLM says there is adequate natural water sources available to the wild horses, but some locals say otherwise.

“Horses on this range have to travel 3-10 miles for water, which is a challenge during average conditions,” says Annie Jantzen, organizer of the Deer Run Wild Horse Preservation Group. “Anyone who has lived in here for any length of time knows that rivers are reduced to a trickle in the blistering summer temperatures. All these people want to do is give the horses a little help during the hottest time of the summer.”

The BLM argues that the residents are enticing horses to their water tanks, causing them to wander from their “herd area” boundaries, about 8 to 10 miles outside the Herd Management Area to the Fish Springs area and are impacting private property.

Jantzen addressed the issue, displaying a map for the crowd showing that the BLM has removed more than half of the area initially assigned for wild horses to live on.

Fish Springs resident Lillian Brown is one of the residents who has a supplemental water tank on her property. She said she added the tank in response to the abrupt removal of a stock tank that the horses have utilized for nearly 10 years. Brown said she is willing to remove the tank when she is satisfied that the horses are being supplied with adequate water. Read full report >>


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