According to the motion approved by the Nevada Board of Agriculture on 12/12/17, ownership of the Virginia Range horses could be transferred to ____________.
- A faraway animal advocacy group that specializes in dogs and cats.
- A non-profit group sponsored by a cattle rancher’s association.
- A network of veterinarians with ties to the pharmaceutical industry.
- An environmental group that sees great potential for wind and solar.
- A private group that puts animal rights ahead of property rights.
Answer: None of the above. The Department of Agriculture probably wouldn’t accept any of those choices. Neither would the people in and around the Virginia Range.
Why? No stakeholder involvement.
Consider this approach: Privately owned but publicly held.
The group that owns the horses should be related to those who own the land on which the horses roam. Keep decision-making authority close to the people affected.
Power over the horses should not be concentrated in the hands of a few. A non-profit corporation directed by its members (e.g., land owners) might work. This would be the legal entity to which the horses are transferred. The land owners could provide ‘seed money’ for the corporation.
The corporation would also accept support from other interested parties, such as monetary donations, grants, donations of equipment/materials/tools, donations of services, people who volunteer their time.
Bylaws would specify what the corporation does and does not do, procedures for meetings, how to make decisions, who has voting rights, etc.
Policies, programs and practices for managing the horses would be subject to member approval.
Some folks are upset with the Board’s decision, understandably. But we have to face the situation as it is and be creative. These are Annie’s horses. The Virginia Range is ground zero for the wild horse preservation movement.
You can still spend a lot of time with those guys (the VR horses). There is a lot of work to do and the clock is ticking. The RFP will be posted in three or four weeks.