County Commission votes to support BLM lawsuit

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAThe White Pine County Commission voted to donate $5,000 to support the Nevada Association of Counties regarding the lawsuit that would require the Bureau of Land Management in Nevada to bring the wild horse and burro populations on public rangelands to appropriate management levels.
“This is a mining community,” Commissioner Laurie Carson said. “Aside from the mining, we rely heavily in regards to our tourists that come up so far as recreation. Our recreation, deer hunting, fishing, our ranchers and farmers along with that…I think that the horses as it was explained before, with drought conditions, the ranchers have to get their animals, their sheep, their cattle off. They work in conjunction, but they are the first ones that have to remove their animals from the grazing allotments. If the number of horses is not in compliance, they are there to eat whatever the cattle would.”
The motion passed unanimously as the commissioners agreed on a $5,000 donation.
“I think it’s really important and something that should have been done years ago,” Commissioner Mike Lemich said. “…Whatever we can afford I support totally and the maximum.”
Commissioner Richard Howe said that the county fully supports the cause and felt comfortable that $5,000 was an amount the county could afford to spend. Commissioner Mike Coster said the county’s investment in the lawsuit will pay big diviends for the county in the long run.
“I think the money we spend on this is going to more than pay off to the county in terms of the revenues we get out of grazing and ranching as well as tourism,” Coster said.
The County Commission also voted on the following items:
• Approval for possible action regarding interest in co-hosting with Eureka and Lincoln Counties the 2014 NACO Annual Conference.
• Approval of recommendation submitted by White Pine County Public Lands Users Advisory Committee to submit a letter to Great Basin National Park Superintendent Steven Mietz requesting that the review and public comment period for the Great Basin National Park Invasive Plant Management Plan be extended for a period of 30 to 60 days since the EA was not available due to the Federal Government shutdown.
• Approval of a grant application for the Emergency Preparedness Working Group FY 2014 grant.
• Approval of acceptance of Emergency Preparedness Working Group FY 2013 in the amount of $44,810.
• Approval of acceptance of Emergency Preparedness Working Group FY 2012 in the amount of $46,200.
• Approval of extension of time request through Sept. 30, 2014 for Jim Wilkin Trucking to complete all of the construction on the park projects.
• Approval of extension of time request through June 30, 2014 for Renner Sports Surface to complete the White Pine County Tennis Court.
• Approval to assign individuals to negotiate Interlocal Agreement for police/fire/animal control services with the City of Ely.
• Approval to assign individuals to negotiate interlocal agreement for changed distribution of CTX revenues with the City of Ely and White Pine County hospital district.
• Approval of request for proposal for information technology management services.
• Approval of change to Ag Ditrict No. 13 capital improvements, reducing the restroom/septic project to $343,500 and adding electrical upgrade in the amount of $6,500.
Approval to appoint Deborah Underwood to replace Robert Bishop on the audit committee. Commissioner Coster voted against the item.
• Approval to appoint Bunny Hill as interim Emergency Medical Services supervisor as of Oct. 31. Chairman John Lampros said Hill volunteered for the position. Commissioner Coster originally made a motion to appoint Chris Flannery as the interim EMS supervisor, but the motion died for a lack of a second. Coster cited Flannery’s experience in the field as a reason for making his motion.
The commission also received quarterly grant updates from the county’s different departments.

Sign Up for Email Updates

Get the latest news, alerts, and more from The Ely Times straight to your inbox.


  1. Tamara Rousseau says:

    These Are America’s Horses – not yours! You have no right to get rid of them – they BELONG to the American People – ALL THE PEOPLE ! Leave our horses alone ! God gave them to us and to us they belong to watch, be amazed by and make dreams with. THEY ARE AMERICAN HISTORY !

  2. Dianne Arthur says:

    Really? No one thinks that anyone cares about our wild horses? This is so wrong! The way they round them up. Separate the foals from the mares. Have you witnessed horse slaughter? Perhaps you should.

  3. Frank Mancuso says:

    100 years ago we had no oil and horses 100 years from now we will have no oil or horses. Be careful what you wish for.

  4. Laurel Hutch says:

    The BLM and it’s management are putting cattle increases, and Fracking interests before Wild Horse management, which is the OPPOSITE of how Public law 92-195 was intended and written. Wild Horses are mandated to be put first, but instead the BLM is deliberately cutting their Public Land percentage, removing large numbers of Horses, and then increasing Cattle allotments, along with issuing Fracking Permits. ONE Fracked well will use one MILLION gallons of water, and contaminate that water forever.

    The Wild Horse and Burro Program has not used scientifically rigorous methods to estimate the population sizes of horses and burros: Current BLM Management is using an inaccurate non-scientific Study paid for by Fracking interests.
    Even though the National Academy of Sciences released a report on the Wild Horse and Burro Program wherein they stated there was “no evidence” of overpopulation, the BLM continues to endorse myths of alleged overpopulation.

  5. Judy Elliott says:

    I have seen beautiful pictures of this area with the wild horses. If you are interested in tourism, you should not consider removing them. These magnificent creatures are part of our American Heiratage….and a reminder of the old West. To remove them would be a crime and certainly would anger most Americans who want the horses to remain wild and free on OUR public lands. Horses are good for the land and they do not damage forage the way cattle and sheep do. I speak for many when I say we are tired of the use of our tax dollars to support welfare ranchers and other special interst groups, like oil and gas fracking comanies who want to remove the wild horses for their personal gain. Please leave the horses alone. We don’t have enough wild herds remaining as it is.

  6. Susan Nowak says:

    Public lands are for the public. Individual ranchers have no particular right to make profits by grazing on public lands. Tourists come to see the “wild west”-which features wild horses,not domestic sheep or cattle. Wild horses should not compete with deer hunting concerns either, as the 2 species prefer different fodder.

  7. CK Thrasher says:

    Obviously the commission have a huge disregard for the public and their opinion. Who has done an accurate counts of wild horses, the BLM? Seriously? They can’t manage their way out of a paper bag. You support them? ‘What a waste of money. Very sad. Just know that the world is watching you and the decisions you make. We WILL speak up and fight for the horses.
    CK Thrasher

  8. Chris Murphy says:

    I will say as a tourist, when I go to see the wild Mustangs in the public lands that my tax dollars pay to keep them there, safe from the greedy ranchers & hunters. They pay pennies on the dollar to have their cattle and sheep on public lands so that they can fatten and sell them for their maximum profit. I’d like to know why the hunters benefit from the mustangs being removed? How do they negatively impact their hunting? The horses can co exist with the cattle and sheep among with the natural wild life without any negative impact to the public lands. Humans remove what is natural to the land. Plant and wildlife to suit their want. Drilling for pipeline and using water source for that purpose takes away from what the wildlife, mustangs and even the farm animals need. Removing the trees & vegitation to build structures and pipeline continues to take away from nature as it is intended. I would not travel to or spend my money in an area that supports removing what I travel to see! There’s MILLIONS of acres of land and only a few hundred mustangs and burros on those MILLIONS of acres. There are hundreds of thousands of livestock animals that are released to graze the land after a couple hundred mustangs are removed from their HMA/tax supported land. This infuriates me everytime I read about something like this. There’s millions and millions of acres that are owned by people that don’t have even one animal visible as far as the eye can see. You are more likely to see a deer with the front end of your car, than in the wild. I get excited when I see maybe 5-10 horses on a road trip of a few hundred miles. Buffalo are so rare we stop to take pictures everytime we see them. THIS weekend I saw Two people actually riding horses. You guessed right, You wondered if I took a picture. It is extremely rare to see someone on horseback & I live in Oklahoma!

  9. Leave the wild horses Alone. ..its about the money. ..

  10. Joy James says:

    Wild Horses are not your problem, it is your moral substance that is corrupted. Jobs from blood of others is wrong. If you do not handle this in a humane and protective manner, but destroy yet another species of animals, you will not have the support of the American people. Talk to those you have put in office, ask them why they are not suffering in these economic times. It is not the fault of the Wild Horses, the Native Americans, the poor, it is their greed that has brought you to where you are today.

  11. What do they mean by managed population. Sounds like a thrust for extinction of the wild horse to me. These are “our public lands”. They don’t below to the cattlemen for their commercial interests with a ratio of 50 cattle to one wild horse. They don’t belong to private interest for mining, mineral or oil rights. These public lands are pristine. The wild horses do not degrade the natural plant life like the cattle. How un American can one get to constantly use our American heritage, the wild horse or mustang as a scapegoat or excuse. No more roundups, no more killer buys, no more slaughter. No more self serving interests.

  12. I have been visitng Ely for a number of years to view your beautiful contryside and to photograph the horses. Over the years I have had my friends return with me to Ely. The horses we saw are a part of America’s culture. Why would you want to destroy and elminate one of the last icons of the west. Instead of using the money to find ways to eliminate the horses why not spend it on advertising your region. If more people knew about your area, tourism would increase, the economy of your area would improve and the beauty of the west would remain preseved

  13. Horse lover says:

    Here’s the facts wild horse numbers are out of control due to poor management whenever you you have a wild species in an Eco system managed by man you have to manage the herd numbers to meet the available resources . If not you end up with an over population depleted resources and consequently starving to death horses :(. Just as the department of wild life manages deer and elk herds the same needs to be done with the feral horses to assure them quality of life. As far a ranchers are concerned I think they care about the land more than anyone you will ever meet they are there every day taking care of it . In a lot of range situations the ranchers have spent millions of there own dollars to develope water resources and quite frankly own the deeded water rights that supply the feral horses with a drink on ranges that other hand would not support them due to lack of natural water sources. So maybe we should look at this with an open mind and collectively figure out a solution that would work for every one and every species involved for the long term and that may require tough choices but in long run will be better for the animals that are left on the range and the resources.


  1. […] Today the Ely News reported that White Pine County has voted to support a lawsuit being proposed by NACO (Nevada Association of Counties) against the Bureau of Land Management and wild horses throughout the state. The article states: “The White Pine County Commission voted to donate $5,000 to support the Nevada Association of Counties regarding the lawsuit that would require the Bureau of Land Management in Nevada to bring the wild horse and burro populations on public rangelands to appropriate management levels.” READ HERE>>> […]

  2. […] a lawsuit against the BLM to remove wild horses, and to euthanize all wild horses in holding.  The White Pine County Commissioners (Nevada) voted to donate $5,000 to support this lawsuit, and Elko County Commissioners (Nevada) voted […]

Speak Your Mind