Wild-horse, burro adoption center receives federal funding

A $9 million wild-horse adoption and visitor center, to be built near Mound House, moved a step closer on Tuesday to becoming a reality.

Senators John Ensign, R-Nev., and Harry Reid, D-Nev., secured $5 million for the project. State funding and private contributions are expected to cover the remaining cost.

The $5 million would be tacked to a $80.7 billion appropriations bill for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a report published Tuesday by The Las Vegas Review-Journal. The funds were originally approved as part of a farm subsidy bill in 2002.

The 20- to 40-acre center will house an interpretive museum, visitor center, auditorium and corral, the article said.

The facility will be able to hold up to 100 adoptable horses and provide permanent homes for 20 horses. A classroom, veterinary clinic, bookstore, restaurant and gift shop will also be included.

The center will serve as a year-round adoption facility for wild horses managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Horses from the Comstock will be overseen by the State Department of Agriculture.

"This adoption center will provide a home for thousands of wild horses and burros who otherwise would have likely died from malnutrition or other illness," Ensign said. "It will also provide a tourist attraction for visitors to enjoy and a boost to Lyon County's economy."

"This center is a Nevada solution that will put resources where they can do the most good," Reid said. "The ultimate goal, of course, is to protect the wild horses while at the same time protecting private and public lands throughout the state."

"I think the involvement of Senators Ensign and Reid is a very positive and exciting step," said Willis Lamm, president of Least Resistance Training Concepts, a wild-horse mentoring group based in Lyon County. "This project needs that kind of push to get off the ground."

n Contact reporter Dan Moreau at dmoreau@nevadaappeal.com or 887-2430 ext. 351.


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