(AP) — The Bureau of Land Management's Nevada director wants to round up 4,000 wild horses in Elko County this summer in response to the continued deterioration of drought-stricken rangeland.
That's more mustangs than were gathered across 10 Western states combined last year.
BLM Nevada Director John Ruhs says it won't be possible to consider lifting livestock grazing restrictions in the northeast corner of the state without removing the mustangs from four herd management areas.
He says the horse gathers also would benefit the greater sage grouse.
Conservationists say the call for more roundups is a misguided attempt to placate ranchers at the expense of horses and grouse. They say cattle do far more damage than mustangs to the parched range and the imperiled bird.