Horse group upset about roundup at wildlife refuge |

Horse group upset about roundup at wildlife refuge

RENO (AP) – Horse protection advocates are back in court in Reno to try to block federal roundups of wild horses after the government quietly gathered nearly 400 mustangs last week at a national wildlife refuge on the Nevada-Oregon line.

Laura Leigh of the group Grass Roots Horse says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service gathered the horses at the Sheldon Wildlife Refuge without public notice and without any accountability.

Paul Steblein, the agency’s project leader in Sheldon, confirmed 396 horses were removed from the refuge last week. But he says the roundup was part of a management plan approved in 2008 calling calls for a reduction of the horse population through 2011.

Steblein says the horses compete with native wildlife for forage and damage water sources.