BLM offering reward for wild horse slayings
RENO – The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is investigating the shooting deaths of nearly a dozen federally protected wild horses and offering a $10,000 reward in connection with the four separate incidents reported in California and Nevada since the beginning of the year, agency officials said Monday.
The most recent killings involved one horse and two burros on BLM land near Black Rock Canyon in Pershing County about 100 miles northeast of Reno. They were discovered April 9.
The BLM earlier announced a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the shooter or shooters responsible for killing two mustangs in California’s Lassen County near the Nevada line.
A BLM crew working on a prescribed fire on April 3 discovered the remains of those horses – which had been dead for several weeks – near Newland Reservoir about 12 miles southeast of Eagleville.
Earlier, six additional mustangs were found shot to death in northern Nevada – three in Eureka County in January and three in Lander County in February, BLM spokeswoman Heather Emmons said.
“We started seeing a string of these so we thought we would offer a bigger reward,” Emmons said Monday.
The three horses found dead in Lander County on Feb. 2 were near Bottle Summit in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. They were about 10 miles south of U.S. Highway 50 and 30 miles west of Eureka – about 250 miles east of Reno. The three in Eureka County were found Jan. 25 near 3 C Well about 15 miles south of Eureka.
Emmons said she could not provide any additional information because the investigation is ongoing.
BLM Director Bob Abbey asked anyone with information to call the BLM Crime Hotline at 1-800-521-6501. He said persons providing information may choose to remain anonymous.
“The perpetrators of these unlawful killings will be vigorously pursued by BLM law enforcement and our partner law enforcement agencies,” Abbey said Monday. “We hope this reward offer will generate information that leads to the swift arrest and ultimate conviction of these individuals.”
The killings are a violation of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 and punishable by up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine. Two Nevada men recently completed six-month prison terms after they pleaded guilty to shooting several federally protected mustangs about 120 miles north of Reno in 2009.
An estimated 37,000 wild horses currently roam federal land in 10 Western states, about half of them in Nevada.