Lincoln County commissioners have sent a letter to BLM Director Neil Kornze in Washington D.C. supporting the BLM National Wild Horse and Burro Committee recommendations developed following a two-day meeting in Elko in early September.

Commission chair Kevin Phillips read the letter into the minutes. It states, “Lincoln County is pleased to support the recommendations…We see progress in the work this committee has moved forward, specifically:

1. Putting an end to the chemical sterilization test program on mustang mares in Oregon.

2. Recommending to BLM to prioritize horse gathers in sage grouse habitat.

3. Compliance with the 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act by BLM “by offering all suitable animals in long and short term holding deemed unadoptable for sale without limitation or humane euthanasia. Those animals deemed unsuitable for sale should then be destroyed in the most humane manner possible.”

Phillips continues in the letter, “Taking these steps will move us toward protecting and renewing western rangelands as stated in the BLM’s mission to provide and maintain healthy landscapes for multiple uses. We urge you to adopt the National WHB Committee recommendations. This will improve the land and vegetation and the condition and health of the horse themselves.”

The letter was also addressed to all members of the Nevada Congressional delegation as well state Attorney General Adam Laxalt and state BLM director John Ruhs.

As reported in the Las Vegas Review-Journal in November, 2015, GOP leaders from Nevada, Sen. Dean Heller and Rep. Mark Amodei, and 18 other lawmakers, sent a letter for director Kornze requested a detailed report on what the agency is doing now and what it plans to do in the future to bring horse populations under control.

The lawmakers were seeking information on birth control treatments, “humane euthanasia,” roundups, adoptions and other efforts to shrink herds to the agency’s own “appropriate management level” for the West, which calls for a total population of no more than 26,715 horses and burros across 10 states.

As of March 1, 2015, there were some 58,150 horses and burros living free on the range, more than half of them in Nevada, according to BLM estimates.