Horse activists ejected from BLM meeting | NevadaAppeal.com

Horse activists ejected from BLM meeting

Kurt Hildebrand
khildebrand@recordcourier.com
One of the alternatives included in the BLM's draft resource management plan includes the expansion of the Pine Nut herd management area south into Douglas County. The pesent area, in blue, lies well north of Fish Springs which is frequented by a band of horses.

Wild horse rights activists said they were ejected from a public meeting held by the Bureau of Land Management and lost their hotel rooms in the process on Thursday night.

The members of Friends of Animals, who flew across the country to protest at Thursday’s meeting on the Pine Nut Resource Management Plan, had a different definition of public comment than the agency did.

BLM Project Manager Colleen Sievers said the meeting was to explain how to comment on the document, which was in the draft stage. The bureau didn’t have a court recorder present to take comments at the meeting.

After Sievers was done, Edita Birnkrant, director of New York Friends of Animals, grabbed the microphone and unfurled a yellow banner, and as some members of the audience booed, said the BLM was abusing wild horses.

The microphone was turned off after short time, but Birnkrant continued to yell.

On Friday, Nicole Rivard said in a statement to The Record-Courier she and Birnkrant attended the meeting because they thought people could speak.

According to Rivard, Birnkrant held a large sign demanding the BLM protect wild horses under the Endangered Species Act until she was contacted by hotel security and escorted out of the meeting room.

Birnkrant said they were escorted to their rooms where they were ordered to pack up and leave the hotel.

Douglas County Sheriff’s Spokesman Sgt. Pat Brooks said no report was filed with the Sheriff’s Office.

“Carson Valley Inn Security asked them to leave and they complied,” he said.

Carson Valley Inn Marketing Director Bill Henderson said the resort had no statement.

In a video, a security officer can be heard asking Rivard to “please” stop taping.

The meeting at the Carson Valley Inn was packed at the time of the incident.

The resource plan covers 4.8 million acres in Western Nevada and could be completed by summer 2016.

It covers topics ranging from mining, environmental protection, wildlife, wild horses and burros, recreation and a variety of other topics.

Sievers said when the plan was last updated, some things like renewable energy weren’t included.

Comments will be accepted through March 27.

Written comments related to the Carson City District plan may be submitted to:

Website: http://on.doi.gov/1uYBNGT

E-mail: BLM_NV_CCDO_RMP@blm.gov

Fax: 775-885-6147

Mail: BLM Carson City District, Attn: CCD RMP, 5665 Morgan Mill Road, Carson City 89701.

Copies of the Carson City District Draft plan and statement are available in the Carson City District Office at the above address or at http://on.doi.gov/1uYBNGT.