The Bureau of Land Management is trying something new in wild horse management, its asking for ideas from the public.
The BLM shut down operations at the Palomino Valley Wild Horse and Burro Facility for a day, then opened the gates to the public 20 miles north of Reno.
Packs of horses run around. They eat and drink in 20 pens. A wrangler shows off a horse tipping machine. The animals are herded down a metal chute and into the tipping machine where they are held firmly and hooves trimmed quickly.
Even though fewer than 50 people showed up for the tour, tensions were high.
Members of the Native Wild Horse Protection group were here. Jetara Sehart came all the way from Marin County.
“I can’t imagine that they take the horses from the wild where there are trees and shade and rocks and crevices and bring them into this unnatural concentration camp like setting with no shelter.” -- Jetara Sehart, Native Wild Horse Protection
The BLM has always had to cope with concerns about food, water and death. A recent heat wave heightened all those concerns. So, BLM Wild Horse Specialist Debbie Collins suggested a collaboration with the public. The first meeting was held at Reno City Hall and lasted 4 hours.
“All those issues blew up a within a week to ten days. We want to try this out and let the public see first hand and that we want to listen to them and our only hope is that it will be constructive and productive tonight.” -- Debbie Collins, BLM Wild Horse Specialist
The BLM says it could use some help. Wranglers at the Palomino Valley Facility are trying to cope with 18-times the usual number of horses and horse pens nation-wide are full.