Horse forum an opportunity to find permanent solutions |

Horse forum an opportunity to find permanent solutions

Nevada Appeal Editorial

We compliment wild-horse advocates for scheduling a meeting Monday to talk about solutions to a dispute over wild horses in the Santa Maria development.

The emphasis should rightly be placed on “talk” rather than “shout” or “demand,” which is so often the case when it comes to wild horses. Some believe wild horses should be afforded complete protection, and others believe their protections are already far above those afforded other wild-animal populations.

That will be the backdrop for Monday’s meeting, titled an “emergency community forum” by The Alliance of Wild Horse Advocates. It will be at 6:30 p.m. at the Dayton Community Center. The group is upset that 22 horses were removed from the Santa Maria Ranch area in August, ostensibly because they were a nuisance to homeowners in the development, and they hope to protect a new band of horses that have taken their place.

We hope those invited, including homeowners and federal, state and local officials, resist the urge to argue and instead use the opportunity to begin finding answers and compromise. On one hand, there may be things developers and homeowners can do to keep horses at bay, including putting up fencing. On the other, there should be agreement that horses, like all wildlife populations, require management to protect the habitat in which they live. No one wants to see Nevada without wild horses, and no one wants to see decimated rangeland or even landscaping around homes.

We also hope their discussion isn’t limited to the horses at Santa Maria. It’s an opportunity to discuss the larger issues at the heart of the problem, which includes the rapid sprawl that shows little sign of slowing. If the two sides can find solutions for Santa Maria, they might not have to fight the same battles at other developments sure to spring up in the desert nearby.