ELKO — Two more entities joined a federal lawsuit regarding wild horse policy, which demands the government round up and remove excess horses. 

In an amended complaint filed Monday, Nevada Bighorns Unlimited and Crawford Cattle were listed as plaintiffs, in addition to Nevada Association of Counties and the Nevada Farm Bureau Federation, who first filed suit in December.

The plaintiffs allege the Bureau of Land Management is not following the law by allowing wild horse populations to grow beyond the agency-identified carrying capacities.

The result, they’ve argued, is damage to the land, wildlife and horses.

“First and foremost, Defendants’ failures to properly follow the law have gravely harmed, and will continue to gravely injure the very animals that the (Wild Horse and Burro) Act was established to protect,” the complaint states.

Bighorns Unlimited did not immediately return a call for comment.

The number of participants in the suit continues to expand. Two separate horse advocates successfully intervened as defendants earlier this year, then filed a motion to dismiss in May.

Advocates believe the lawsuit is an attempt to allow for the sale of horses for slaughter, and argue that the agency should use fertility-control methods to manage herd populations.

In a response to the allegations, the BLM stated it was strapped for funds and holding space. The agency recently said it will gather fewer horses across the West this summer because of budget restrictions and lack of pens, according to The Associated Press.

Government attorneys asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit for legal reasons.

The plaintiffs have until Aug. 15 to respond.

The Elko County Commission pledged up to $10,000 to help fund the legal action, which NACO president Jeff Fontaine said in February could add up to more than $90,000.

Bighorns Unlimited is a nonprofit dedicated to protecting and sustaining wildlife for hunters and wildlife enthusiasts.

Crawford is a for-profit livestock operation located near Winnemucca.

In the lawsuit, the ranching company claimed its predecessor informed the BLM that wild horses had damaged land, including private parcels, and consumed private water and feed.

(12) comments


There is no accounting for human nature, is there? Only consider the name of NV Bighorns Unlimited and you see where they are coming from. Would they please 'fess up on the basic ecology of these species and acknowledge that Bighorns and wild horses don't even occupy the same niche on the range? And how about it ranchers, would you like to publish in this newspaper the AUMs for livestock and the AUMs for horses on NV ranges over the last 10 years? Dare you....We can get along, you know.


Crawford Cattle is a mineral reserves company. So now we're getting to the heart of the matter:


Company Overview
Crawford Cattle Company LLC owns mineral reserve properties. The company was incorporated in 2012 and is based in Winnemucca, Nevada.


Everytime someone pushes for management of feral horses the advocates come out of the wood work with their hair brain ideas and conspiracies, which are completely based on fantasy and garbage fed to them by the feral horse industry, aka advocacy groups. When will our govt stop protecting these religious extremists and stop serving their cause? Congress should be held accountable for doing the bidding of these fringe extremist horse groups and allowing them to attack our rural lives.


crypto, no wild horses or burros would need to be managed if Welfare Ranchers who graze their cattle and sheep at taxpayer expense could possibly learn the concept of sharing the public lands with the wild horses, burros, large predators, etc.


It's getting to the point where American taxpayers are tired of footing the bill for these tiny number of Welfare Ranchers that raise just 2% of our nation's beef at such huge expense.


Right on.


Well maybe if so many of the HMA's weren't zeroed out or range areas fenced off or closed maybe, just maybe, there wouldn't seem to be so many wild horses. Besides with millions of cattle and sheep out there how can you dare blame everything on the wild horses. And I agree with Big Bob that what do Bighorns have to do with wild horses? Seems to me if all the cattle and sheep, non-native private owned livestock, were taken off the ranges there would be plenty of range for real wildlife. 666 fits!


I am currently trying to get funded for my documentary about the wild horses in NV. I started a kickstarter account to get funded. Please check it out and back my project. Donations start at $1. Please help me get this story out! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1476664817/horses-money-and-lawyers-the-myth-of-the-mustang


Oh just put a bounty on the mustangs and burrows. Sell hunting tags for them horse meats not that bad and neither is burro. After a while we won't have to worry about any of them


Funny how if I support the wild horses I'm an activist...why aren't the people trying to kill and remove the wild horse an activist? Oh I forgot their welfare ramchers.


NV Bighorns puts their money where their mouths are by building guzzlers for not just sheep but all wildlife. They are one of the few organizations that does actual boots on the ground work. When was the last time you saw a "wild horse advocacy" group do any actual range work where they actually got their hands dirty? All they do is whine, raise money and file law suits. Get out in the fields and do some work for all wildlife like NV Bighorns, SCI, RMEF, Mule Deer Foundation and Ducks Unlimited


Well that's not quite fair. They also build the exclusive Mustang Monument resort where for a $1000 a night you can hang with their tony friends and admire wild horses from the comfort of your own spa. Other than limousine Liberals and their useful idiots who want to tie up the West for their private viewing or range land for their cattle, the public mostly doesn't give a hoot. Clear 'em all out and get drilling. That's where the public interest lies.


Funny how people complain about welfare ranchers then go out to dinner and order a big fat beef steak. I still think they should just sell horse steaks and borro steaks

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