ELKO – Plans to build a small unauthorized fence on the Argenta allotment, an area that sparked a cross country protest horse ride after it was partially closed to grazing last year, have been called off – for now.
Organizer and former assemblyman John Carpenter said Tuesday that the work party, intended to cordon off a riparian area while allowing cattle to remain on the rest of a portion of a disputed parcel, has been postponed.
It was scheduled to take place Saturday.
Meetings to be held next week could bring about a resolution, Carpenter hopes.
“They really want to get this settled,” he said.
Rudy Evenson, BLM public relations officer, said the two-day meeting will be Tuesday and Wednesday, involving the permittee holders, the Riparian Team, as well as the acting BLM state director John Ruhs, and BLM District Manager Doug Furtado.
Evenson said because the mediation is over a legal matter, it was not open to the public.
Carpenter, who successfully intervened in the legal battle and thus is party to the discussion, said if a solution isn’t reached, he planned to reschedule the work party.
Last year, cattle were removed from nine of 20 areas on the Argenta allotment near Battle Mountain because of severe drought.
Permittees disputed the BLM’s data and pointed out that about half of the land was privately owned. The plight spurred the Grass March/Cowboy Express, seeking grievance for the perceived federal overreach.
The Argenta decision was appealed to the Interior Board of Land Appeals. This spring, the sides asked the judge to stay a ruling so that they could find a solution out of court.