The planned roundup of 332 wild horses in Nevada’s Pine Nut Mountains is on hold until late February. ‘Protect Mustangs’ and ‘Friends of Animals’ filed a lawsuit alleging the Bureau of Land Management failed to prepare an environmental assessment as required and didn’t provide adequate public notice of its plans.
The lawsuit also alleges the government has ignored studies showing the fertility control drug PZP alters horse behavior as well as the birthing cycle. The BLM planned to gather all but 132 horses from ranges south of Dayton and east of Carson City and Gardnerville.
Of the 132 to be captured and released — all 66 mares would have received a 22-month treatment of the vaccine to prevent future reproduction.
The BLM contends an overpopulation of horses in the area has damaged the range, including valuable sage grouse habitat, and reduced availability of native forage grasses needed to support a healthy horse population. The agency will likely proceed with other wild horse gathers planned near Tonopah and Battle Mountain in the meantime.