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Carson City wild horse advocates speak out on BLM decision to trap Deer Run Road horses

UPDATE 10AM: Today, the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, a national coalition, joined forces with a Nevada State Senator and local community leaders in and around Carson City to harshly criticize the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for refusing to work with local residents to keep a small group of wild horses free. The mustang herd at issue travels between federal land in the Pine Nut Herd Management Area (HMA) and a rural area outside Carson City.

“We are outraged that, at a time when the BLM has stockpiled an astounding 50,000 wild horses in captivity, this agency is unwilling to work with the community to prevent the removal of more horses by keeping one small family of cherished horses wild and free,” said Deniz Bolbol, AWHPC communications director who has been working with the community on a plan for the horses.

On Friday, Bolbol spoke with BLM manager Leon Thomas and urged the agency to build a fence to keep the horses in question on their designated range, offering to cover the costs if necessary. She noted that, each year, the agency builds miles of fencing for livestock, and expressed shock that the BLM had not even considered building a fence to keep these wild horses within their designated range. Bolbol points out that temporary fencing could be put up in a day or two to address any possible safety concerns.

Yesterday, the BLM announced that it will proceed with the immediate removal of the horses, rejecting offers from neighbors, local officials and wild horse advocacy groups to work on solutions that would keep the horses wild and free. The agency continues to cite outdated complaints more than a year old, relating to other horses, as justification for its targeting of these horses.

One of the public officials expressing dismay with the BLM’s announcement is State Senator Mark Manendo, who said, “"As an advocate for Nevada and its animals, domestic and wild, I encourage the BLM to exhaust all efforts to work with Carson City citizens dedicated to keeping our wild horses on their native land."

The wild horses at issue are locally revered by residents as a part of their culture. This band has lived in this area over 40 years; the herd originally had approximately 50 horses, who were systematically removed by BLM over time. Just weeks ago, the small herd was down to 11 members, when the BLM removed five horses. There are just six wild horses left in this family, and residents have been fighting hard to keep them wild and free.

“We are heartbroken that our government will not work with us on a solution for these beautiful wild horses who are cherished by our community,” said Annie Jantzen. “This is a heartless move by the federal government, which is thumbing its nose at local leaders, our community and the American taxpayers, who continue to pay as the BLM removes more and more horses from the range, while ignoring real solutions to keep them on our public lands.”

The BLM itself admits that the small family of horses at issue does not affect the Pine Nut Mountain HMA population count because they are isolated on the Carson side of Brunswick Canyon from the rest of the horses.

The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) is a coalition of more than 50 horse advocacy, public interest, and conservation organizations dedicated to preserving the American wild horse in viable, free-roaming herds for generations to come.

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A group of wild horse advocates say they disagree with Bureau of Land Management plans to trap and remove 11 wild horses, part of a herd that was once much larger, and move them out of the Deer Run Road area of Carson City.

The group, organized by Margie Quirk, Annie Jantzen and at least 20 others from around the Carson City area, said it will use civil disobedience protest measures, if it has to, in order to stop the trapping.

Carson Now was alerted to the group, its plans and concerns on Monday night. Given that public land issues involving wildlife, especially wild horses, involves passionate views, traditional newsprint media is often and sometimes unfairly charged with taking a position or not doing enough. Issues that journalists would see are being fairly and adequately covered in the old paradigm news print sense are taking off and being examined and questioned in the new paradigm of the digital world. Carson Now has been built on the notion of asking the public to contribute to and participate in journalism.

The BLM has informed the advocates that the roundup of these horses is for public safety concerns and concerns about the animals themselves.

But wild horse advocates are arguing there is another side and a better way and they feel they are not being heard. Carson Now is providing them a forum and is inviting the BLM and others who disagree with the wild horse advocates, a place to communicate too.

We invite all sides to participate and allow for whatever points people wish to make. All we ask is that people rise above the cheap shots and name calling and present their ideas.

I asked Quirk to provide Carson Now information about the Deer Run Road horse issue and ask that she also do it fairly without taking pot shots but at least tell us about the BLM's point of view. She agreed and her reply is below. Feel free to comment on this in the space allowed for in the comment section below.

The following is from Margie Quirk. For more information, follow the group on its Facebook page. The public can find information about wild horses on the BLM Carson City District homepage here.

There has always been a herd of wild horses off of Deer Run Road. We moved here in 1994 and there were actually 2 separate herds. One down towards the north and one south. As the herds would increase in size the BLM would come in and and do a round up. At that time they would actually use a helicopter due to herd size. It was a horrific thing to watch from your yard. Eventually the herds became one. The largest number I saw was 25. When they did the rounds ups they would always leave a white mare. She was easy to spot on the hills and was a good way to keep track of them. She has been here at least since 1992 that we know of. That makes her pretty old at this point.

On Jan. 25th I was outside in the early morning with my farrier. It was extremely foggy that morning. Suddenly I heard what sounded like trucks and trailers with panels bouncing around on them. I know that sound well. Over the next few days our neighbor said she only saw 6 of the horses. There were 11 total. I remembered the sound I heard and called the local BLM office. I was told, no they were not doing any round ups. After several days when 5 were still missing I called again. Leon Thomas called me back and said yes they rounded up the 5 and were planning on taking the other 6 too.

I believe I posted something on LMVH FB page and I started getting comments and people who wanted to help. That is how I met Annie Jantzen. She is a photographer who has been following the herd for 1.5 years and is writing a book. She came over and we discovered the horse trap at the top of Sedge rd. We of course closed the gate to keep the horses out. With the help of several people and tons of phone calls we managed to keep horses away from the trap until the BLM agreed to meet with us.

We met at Applebees, all 24 of us plus Mr. Leon Thomas. He is the fairly new Field Supervisor for the Carson District. The reasoning behind this is the numerous complaints on the wild horses. At that time he could only say a horse chased a woman up a tree and that 2 mares were fighting by the school bus stop. When I asked him why after all these years they decided to round up ALL of the horses his answer was because no one else would deal with it. It was always swept under the rug and it was now is job to do it. During that meeting he decided to appoint Annie Jantzen as our spokesperson. He gave us a 2 week reprieve to come us with solutions to the problems. Mind you we still didn't know what the real problems were.

After much research and many calls and having as many people as we can call the BLM and leave messages with the State Director (she never called any one back), opposing this round up Annie received word from Chris Cook. He was brought in from Battle Mountain as "acting" District Manager for Carson City. Currently that position is vacant. We believe he was brought in to smooth over the issues that started with Leon. We came up with good positive solutions and presented them to Chris Cook, Leon Thomas and a few other BLM staff at an afternoon meeting on Tuesday Feb. 19th.

Since that time we have heard nothing from anyone. Annie has left messages for Chris Cook and he never returned her calls. Tonight at 5:00 she gets a call from Leon Thomas telling her the horses will be rounded up asap. He said our proposals would not work. We have heard nothing back regarding our proposals. Coincidently someone in our group stumbled upon our proposals on the BLM web site and the reasons why the different items would or would not work. Can't believe they never even told us where to find the answers. They were also supposed to supply us with the written complaints on their website the day after our meeting of the 19th. They never did. We finallly received an email with them.

I can tell you what I know for sure regarding their reasoning for removing the horses per Leon.

Public Safety
People feeding them
Inbreeding

Public Safety - 5 horses hit by cars since 1994. No people injured in those. One woman said she feared for her safety and had to climb a tree to escape one of the horses. A man was riding a mule and leading a mare behind. Suddenly the stallion of the herd was attempting to mount the mule. Duh she was in heat!
The young stallion we called Studley had become quite assertive and the majority of complaints were on him. The other 2 horses were his sons, also stallions whom he booted out and they were wandering and lost without their herd.

People feeding them. Yes this does happen periodically. I have been guilty of it when there is tons of snow on the ground and they are staring at me while I feed my own horses. Tourists will stop also and offer carrots to them. One of our solutions was education and awareness.

Inbreeding. These horses have been inbreeding for a very long time. Apparently eventually that can cause club foot, which we also see in domestic horses.

Here are some bullet points we wanted to focus on.

— The BLM is refusing to work with local residents to keep a small group of federally protect wild horses free and wild.
Local resident offer time and resources to keep this small group of horses free but BLM refuses. Simple fencing and educational signs could keep these horses free and wild.

— This is yet another example of the BLM's inhumane capture-and-remove policy of wild horses which has led the BLM to stockpile more than 50,000 wild horses in government holding facilities.

— BLM cites old and outdated safety complaints as the reason for removing this small family of horses, yet the safety complaints are over a year old and relate to a stallion who was removed by the BLM last year. There are NO valid issues concerning safety to legitimize the removal of these horses

— This small family of wild horses is locally revered by residents as a part of the local culture. The small herd of 11 horses was reduced to just 6 horses by BLM 2 weeks ago. This band has lived in this area over 40 years; herd originally had approximately 50 horses, who were systematically removed by BLM over time.

— We request that the 4 mares in custody at the prison facility be released; BLM has refused this request even though the prison is willing to release the horses from the adoption program, that has 1500 horses standing in the dirt waiting for adoption. If held, these horses will sit for a long long time.

— By BLM’s own admission this small family of horses does not affect the Pine Nut Mountain Herd Management Area (HMA) population count because they are isolated from the rest of the horses (This small band is isolated to the Carson side of Brunswick Canyon).

— It's time the BLM start to work with the local residents who love these horses and ensure they stay wild and free.


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On your “Must Not Miss” list, is the popular Downtown Wine Walk – held the First Saturday of every month from 1- 5pm. For just $10 (which supports the Downtown Business Association you’ll receive a commemorative wine glass and endless reasons to sip, stroll, and shop, the afternoon away, through Historic Downtown Carson City. Bring your wine walk glass with the Carson City Logo on it and pay only $8. Don't forget the after Wine Walk raffle prize party, 5:00pm, at the Cabaret Lounge, Carson Nugget Casino!

Tickets can be purchased at Bella Fiora Wines, Cactus Jack’s, Carson Jewelry & Loan, Carson Nugget, and Horseshoe Club, where you will receive hand stamps, glasses, and maps.

Sponsored by the Carson City Downtown Business Association, our goal is to carry on a local tradition, hosting an event which showcases a monthly Downtown celebration. It’s a Saturday stroll with a glass of wine through historic downtown Carson City where boutiques, local shops, galleries, restaurants and casinos, pull out all the stops to awaken your taste buds and tantalize your senses... experience a Downtown taste sensation!.

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The month of July ended with the Nevada Department of Wildlife dealing with 20 black bears in the 31 days.

“That is a faster than normal pace,” says NDOW biologist Carl Lackey, “but it is really the calm before the storm with potential nuisance bear activity in western Nevada. This is the time of year that the bears expand their search for food and during that search bears and the activities of people often come in to conflict. August, September and October should be very busy with our bears.”

Are you looking for a way to enjoy your Sunday afternoons? The Jazz & Beyond: Carson City Music Festival is offering free concerts in the Legislative Plaza between the State Capitol and the Legislature Building in Carson City on three Sundays: Aug. 3, Aug. 10, and Aug. 17, 2014.

This week's Women to Women features Elinor Bugli, President of the Carson City Symphony Association. She is also an organizer for the Jazz and Beyond Festival. Elinor and her husband have been instrumental (pun intended) to the creation of the Carson City Symphony and many, many other aspects of Carson City arts.

Visit jazzcarsoncity.com to get the schedule because It's happening now through Aug. 17.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and Carson City Mayor Robert Crowell presided over the official ribbon cutting to open the Fair on Thursday.

Acting on several tips of drugs allegedly being sold out of a home with children inside and local from a taxi cab driver, Carson City Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Team officers arrested five people Thursday night at a Condor Circle home.

Officers confiscated small amounts of methamphetamine, heroin, more than 30 pieces of assorted drug paraphernalia and cash after a search warrant was granted. Three children — two four-year-olds and a seven-year-old — were taken into protective custody, according arresting Carson City sheriff’s officers.

UPDATE: NV Energy reports power fully restored Friday morning after outage in Dayton affects 2,114 customers.

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UPDATE: NV Energy reports power being restored to the south and east of Dayton Valley Airpark. As of 11:17 p.m. there were 936 customers without power.
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UPDATE: As of 10:50 p.m. there's been more reported outages, back up to 1,672 customers south and east of Dayton Valley Airpark.

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UPDATE: As of 9 p.m. 942 NV Energy customers remain without power south of Dayton Valley Airpark.

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Since 2009, Western Nevada College has actively sought ways to be sustainable in the operation of its campuses. Through continuing efforts and a commitment to use green energy, that vision is rising to new heights.

Black Rock Solar, a nonprofit corporation in Reno that specializes in expanding the use of renewable energy, just completed installation of 666 panels atop the Bristlecone Building on the Carson City campus. At 180 kilowatts, the project is Black Rock’s largest roof array to date.

The Carson City Chamber of Commerce welcomed Terri Baijounas, Farmers' Insurance newest Carson City agency owner, with a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday. It is the chamber's newest member and latest business to open its doors on John Street.

Baijounas, who has been affiliated with Farmers Insurance for 34 years in Nevada and California, set out on her own in May of this year with a branch as an agency owner.

If you're looking for a camping and fishing trip after this week's NV 150 Fair at Fuji Park, my suggestion is a special location that is not too far from Carson City, south of here off of Highway 395.

If you're not familiar with Lundy Lake, Calif., you are probably asking yourself, "What is Lundy Lake and where in the heck is it?"
 Well, if you're interested, here is some information to whet your appetite:

Today’s NV150Fair, celebrating Nevada's Sesquicentennial celebration, has something for everyone and admittance and all shows this day are FREE. Parking can be found at Casino Fandango with shuttle buses running continuously to take you there. Here's what's on tap today.

11 am – Be part of the history!

The Nevada Department of Transportation will begin a $800,000 project to construct turn pockets for enhanced safety and mobility on U.S. 395 south of Gardnerville Sunday, Aug. 3.

Proposed 2015 health insurance for individual and small group markets in Nevada are now available online, state Insurance Commissioner Scott J. Kipper announced Thursday. The proposed rates are for plans sold both on and off Nevada’s health insurance exchange.

Nevadans who wish to view proposed health insurance rates for plan year 2015 can go here. The Division has made proposed rate information available in two different formats.

Carson City sales tax is up 7.8 percent in May this year as compared to May 2013, according to figures provided Wednesday to the Carson City Chamber of Commerce.

"We attribute that to all the new retailers that chose to open their doors here," said Chamber Executive Director Ronni Hannaman.

Here’s a brief synopsis from the Chamber:

Furniture Sales – Up 24.8 percent; Sporting goods were up by 101.2 percent; General Merchandise stores were up by 37.5 percent and food and beverage stores showed an increase of 16.1 percent.

A 23-year-old Carson City man was arrested Wednesday on felony drug charges, a Carson City sheriff’s deputy said. Troy Lee Lindsey was booked on the felony charges after officers found two baggies of suspected methamphetamine in the man’s shoe.

According to the arrest report, a Carson City Sheriff’s Office Special Enforcement Team officer observed the man make a sudden turn on North Roop Street to East Washington at 9:26 p.m., nearly causing a collision between himself and another vehicle.

Many celebrations are scheduled statewide in the month of August. These Nevada 150 events celebrate all things Nevada and bring awareness to the 150th Anniversary of Statehood. The following events are held Aug. 1 through Aug. 14.

Thunderstorms are moving into the Carson City region, prompting an alert from the National Weather Service in Reno. A Flash Flood Watch is in effect until 10 p.m. for Carson City, Carson Valley, Dayton and Virginia City.

Firefighters have also responded to reports of lightning strikes seen in areas south and east of Carson City. As of about 1:30 p.m. Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch Center said there have been reports of lightning strikes and smoke near Carson River Road and near Stephanie Way but but nothing confirmed as wildfire.

Fruit trees throughout western Nevada blossom in the spring and will produce ripened fruit in mid-summer. As the fruit develops, the black bears in western Nevada are sure to take notice.

Armed with a sense of smell that is 2,100 times better than a human’s, black bears can tell when it is time to venture down the hill into places like west Reno, Washoe and Pleasant Valleys, Carson City and the western edges of the Carson Valley including Minden, Gardnerville and Genoa.

The fourth graders worked at the computer screens for hours, fingers dancing over the keyboard and figures on the screen spinning, growing and changing colors. And, their parents were happy. The students weren’t playing games; they were designing and building things like a whistle, buildings, hot air balloon, cars, DNA models, bracelets, airplanes and more, using a 3-D modeling and CAD design program.

Project Americans Coming Together local director Carla Wilson, and event coordinator Joy Evans will hold an informational meeting and auditions for two local original productions designed to bring both national and local history to life.

This meeting will be held on Friday, August 1, 2014, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints located at 411 N. Saliman Road in Carson City.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A package of Northern Nevada lands bills — six introduced by Rep. Mark Amodei (NV-2) and one by Rep. Steven Horsford (NV-4) unanimously passed the House Natural Resources Committee Wednesday.

The bipartisan support clears the way for the legislation to be brought to the House floor in September as a non-controversial suspension bill, according to a news release from Amodei's office.

The compromise agreement was made possible after adjustments to the legislation were made to a version passed in January.