Wild Horse Advocates Protest Outside State Capitol

By  | 

Dozens of people gathered outside of the State Capitol on Wednesday, to protest what they fear could be a state Agriculture Department roundup of nearly 12-hundred wild horses near Virginia City.

Local activists were hoping the demonstration would set the record straight on this controversial issue.

Plenty of passer-byes were honking for horses as several wild horse advocate groups rallied together, asking the state to change its approach.

"We are just trying to educate everybody and let them know there is plenty of land available for them to run free," says Betty Retzer, one of the protesters.

Protesters wore plungers on their heads and decked themselves in other cleaning paraphernalia, demanding a swift cleanup of the Department of Agriculture.

Demonstrators say the Department is lying to the public by saying the horses on the Virginia Range are starving and in poor health. A spokesman for the Governor's office says studies have shown there are too many wild horses on the range, but the state has no plans to remove any of them at this time.

Willis Lamm is the President of Least Resistance Training Concepts, a wild horse advocate group that works hands-on with horses on the range.

He says, he hopes Wednesday's protest will encourage legislators to consult their constituents before making a decision.

"This is an illustration of what the issues are," says Lamm. "We're showing Nevada is not happy with the way the issues are being run. We don't particularly like the Washington style of politics in Carson City and Reno."

The State says it's working on developing a management plan which will address the long range future of the ecosystem. That process is expected to take three to six months.