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Hearing planned on use of aircraft, vehicles in wild horse ops

June 25, 2010

A public hearing on the use of motorised vehicles and aircraft in the mustering and monitoring of wild horses will be held by the Bureau of Land Management in Nevada.

The hearing is required to meet the bureau's responsibilities under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act.

The hearing will receive information and public comments on the use of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft to count wild horse or burro populations and the use of helicopters to gather and remove excess animals.

The use of helicopters, in particular, to muster horses has angered wild horse advocates, who believe it is cruel and injures animals by running them hard over terrain.

The hearing will also consider the use of motorized vehicles to transport gathered wild horses or burros as well as to conduct field monitoring activities.

The hearing will be held on July 1 at 6pm at the Bureau of Land Management Elko District Office, in Nevada.

Before helicopters or motorised vehicles can be used, a public hearing is required to comply with Section 404 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act.

The bureau proposes to use a helicopter, fixed-wing aircraft and other motorized vehicles to estimate population numbers and obtain seasonal distribution information for wild horse and burro herds throughout Nevada.

It also proposes to use a helicopter to assist in gathering excess wild horses and burros throughout the state during the coming year.

The actual number of areas where gathers will be conducted or inventoried will depend on several factors including funding.



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