Senate bill would help wild animals that rely on rural guzzlers
February 19, 2013
Sen. Pete Goicoechea, R-Eureka, introduced a bill Monday that he said will save wildlife that come to rely on guzzlers for water in rural Nevada.
SB134 would require that when the Wildlife Department installs a guzzler designed to provide more than 1,000 gallons of water, it must first get permission from the state engineer.
It also would have to report its GPS location and other information to the state engineer’s office.
“There are 1,600 guzzlers in this state, and I’m not sure anyone knows where any of them are,” he said.
The bill also would require that those who install the water-providing systems maintain them.
Goicoechea, a rancher, said the problem is that animals learn to rely on the remote guzzlers for water. If the guzzlers are allowed to deteriorate, he said, some of those animals – particularly the smaller, less mobile ones – can be left with no water supply.
“If they go dry, they’re going to suffer,” Goicoechea said.
The bill would mandate that any fencing around a watering location would have to be constructed in a way designed to prevent livestock from getting tangled in it.
SB134 was referred to the Natural Resources, Agriculture and Mining Committee for study.