Monday, December 21, 2009

Wildlife Agency Backs BLM In Wild-Horse Lawsuit

The Nevada Department of Wildlife is siding with federal land managers against a lawsuit that seeks to block the Dec. 28 removal of 2,500 horses from the range north of Reno. The state agency on Thursday filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit on behalf of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The wildlife department's filing says its assessment of habitat in the Calico Mountain Complex showed horses have "severely degraded" the range and continue to adversely affect wildlife. In Defense of Animals, based in San Rafael, Calif., and wildlife biologist Craig Downer of Nevada filed the lawsuit last month to halt the roundup. Equine advocates contend the Bureau of Land Management is grossly inflating horse numbers to justify their removal from the range. Ken Mayer, director of the Nevada Department of Wildlife, said more horses than deer are spotted in some aerial more

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