Wild-horse advocates are gearing up to inform the public about Nevada's "fence-out" laws on range land and to put pressure local and county governments to enforce those laws.
They will also pressure Realtors to make sure home buyers know they are buying homes in areas where livestock or wild horses are permitted to roam.
Bonnie Matton, of the Wild Horse Preservation League, said the group is offering a publication titled "Welcome to Wild Horse Country" that documents laws regarding horses.
"We've already started giving it to Realtors," she said. "We're going to the commissioners, planning departments and advisory councils in Dayton, Silver Springs, Stagecoach and Virginia City."
Among the information the group will be handing out is the law on range land disclosure that is supposed to be signed by both buyer and seller when a home is sold that is adjacent to open range or areas where livestock or wild horses are allowed to roam.
NRS 113.065 requires disclosure upon sale of home or improved lot adjacent to open range; disclosure constitutes affirmative defense in action resulting from livestock entering property.
NRS 568.355 defines open range as all unenclosed land outside of cities and towns upon which cattle, sheep or other domestic animals by custom, license, lease or permit are grazed or permitted to roam.
The requirement of the Nevada Range Land Disclosure form was passed by the 2001 Legislature.
Dorothy Wingard, who purchased a home in the Legado golf community in 2003, said she never signed a Nevada Range Land Disclosure form.
"The horses have been down here," she said. "Kids cut the fence so they can get their dirt bikes through, and the horses sometimes come in."
She said that although her neighborhood is fairly urbanized, when she bought it, there was quite a bit of open space.
"They were just beginning to develop," she said. "There's always been horses up here."
Jack Finch, of Stagecoach, purchased a new home in The Villages subdivision in 2005 and said he didn't remember anything about range land disclosures.
"There used to be horses before the houses went in across the street," he said.
Finch has no problem with wild horses coming around.
"If you don't want the horses, you ought to put up fences," he said.
Nan Pearson, of Mark Twain, said she never saw a range land disclosure form until three days ago.
Pearson, who purchased her home without the services of a Realtor, said the seller never provided her with the form.
"We've talked to a lot of people in the neighborhood and they've never seen it," she said.
Charles Kitchen, a Carson City broker and past president of the Nevada Association of Realtors, said he had no knowledge of a case where the range land requirement was not disclosed.
"It's one of the forms that the association goes over with new members to make sure they know they have to do it," he said. "That's a fairly new disclosure and I know it's being disclosed to people."
Kitchen said that in the middle of a populated urban area, disclosure wasn't necessary, but in rural areas near open range, it was required.
• Wild Horse Preservation League: www.wildhorsepl.org
• A complete disclosure guide can be found at the State of Nevada Department of Business and Industry - Real Estate Division's Web site at: www.red.state.nv.us/forms.622.pdf
• Call: (775) 241-0640 or (775) 220-6806
• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 882-2111 ext. 351.