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Groups protest dismissal of horse lawsuit

Nevada Appeal Capitol Bureau

The Nevada Association of Counties and Farm Bureau Federation have objected to the federal court decision dismissing their lawsuit against the Interior Department over management of the state’s wild horse and burro populations.

In a joint statement, they said the 2013 lawsuit was filed to protect Nevada rangelands and the state’s limited natural resources.

“The significant overpopulation of wild horses and burros in Nevada has severe impacts on the health of horses as well as the ecological health and sustainability of Nevada rangelands,” the statement says. “It also results in the degradation of natural springs and riparian areas and negative effects on native wildlife and vegetation.”

They said the suit was filed to try force the federal government to comply with the 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act to properly manage the horse and burro populations in the state.

The lawsuit was dismissed Thursday. U.S. District Judge Miranda Du said in her nine-page order the plaintiffs failed to identify any agency action for review, instead calling on the court to ensure the management of the animals complied with the 1971 act.

“The court lacks jurisdiction to oversee such a sweeping request,” she said.