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Sportsman, Landowner, & Conservationist Opposition to SB 90

May 1, 2023

Assemblywoman Selena Torres, Chair
NV Assembly Committee on Government Affairs
Nevada State Capitol,
101 N Carson St.
Carson City, NV 89701

Re: Sportsman, Landowner, & Conservationist Opposition to SB 90

Dear Chair Torres:

We write in opposition to SB 90, a bill to designate the “wild mustang” as the official state horse of the State of Nevada. We respectfully request that your committee table this bill when it comes before you for action.

We appreciate the presence of some of these animals on the landscape, however, the overpopulation of horses and burros has resulted in the degradation of rangeland and health of native wildlife in our state. In our view, offering greater legitimacy to the inhumane, overpopulation of feral horses on the landscape of our state would be detrimental to our diligently managed wildlife and natural resources, as well as to the horses themselves. Feral horse populations can double every four (4) years and in some extreme instances, populations on our states’ Horse Management Areas can exceed ten (10) times the appropriate management levels. Adverse impacts to our native wildlife are equally extreme. These feral horses frequently intimidate and out-compete our native wildlife for forage and water. Increasingly rare and delicate riparian areas are monopolized by feral horses, which turns these once-lush meadows and seepage springs dry and desolate. Overpopulated feral horses are actively destroying the lifeblood of our state, our precious and limited riparian areas, spring sources, meadows, creeks, streams, and all that support these animals and plants. Professional wildlife managers at the Nevada Department of Wildlife list the overpopulation of feral horses as the second greatest impact to wildlife of greatest conservation need, including at-risk species like sage grouse.

Declaring “wild mustangs” our state symbol would be especially ironic, given their detrimental impacts to our other state symbols, like bighorn sheep, Indian rice grass, sagebrush, mountain bluebird, and the Lahontan cutthroat trout (via horses’ impact to Nevada’s water quality and quantity).

We appreciate your consideration of this request and respectfully request that you table SB 90 when it comes before your committee. Yours in Conservation,

Wild Sheep Foundation
Boone and Crockett Club
Chukar Chasers Foundation
Coalition for Healthy Nevada Lands, Wildlife & Free-Roaming Horses
Congressional Sportsmen’s Association
Ducks Unlimited
Fraternity of the Desert Bighorn
Meadow Valley Wildlife Unlimited
Muley Fanatics Foundation Sierra Front Chapter
National Wildlife Federation
Nevada Bighorns Unlimited
Nevada Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers
Nevada Sporting Dog Alliance
Nevada Trapper’s Association
Nevada Wildlife Federation
Northern Nevada Coalition for Wildlife
Pope & Young Club
Property & Environment Research Center
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Safari Club International
Southern Nevada Coalition for Wildlife
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
Wildlife Management Institute

Rebecca Mills, Retired Superintendent Great Basin National Park Kenneth E. Mayer, Former Director, Nevada Department of Wildlife

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