Tuesday, June 18 2013 8:13 PM EDT2013-06-19 00:13:36 GMT
PAHRUMP, Nev. -- A fight between senators in Washington, D.C., could resurrect the controversial Yucca Mountain nuclear storage project in Nye County. Nye County leaders met Tuesday to support the openingMore>>
A fight between senators in Washington, D.C., could resurrect the controversial Yucca Mountain nuclear storage project in Nye County.More>>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 1:22 AM EDT2013-06-19 05:22:23 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- US Thrill Rides LLC Incorporated has submitted plans to the FAA to create a 650-foot roller coaster near the Tropicana Hotel. The Florida based company is remaining tight lipped on any ofMore>>
US Thrill Rides LLC Incorporated has submitted plans to the FAA to create a 650-foot roller coaster near the Tropicana Hotel.More>>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 10:49 PM EDT2013-06-19 02:49:28 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Clark County Fire Department is battling a fire at a house near Russell Road and Spencer Street. According to the fire department's website, the fire started at around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.More>>
A grass fire ignited a house in the 5400 block of Escondido Street, near Russell Road and Spencer Street, Tuesday afternoon.More>>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 9:50 PM EDT2013-06-19 01:50:28 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- A Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officer has been relieved of duty after pleading guilty to charges of possession of a controlled substance. Officer Ramin Amely was charged with two felonyMore>>
A Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officer has been relieved of duty after pleading guilty to charges of possession of a controlled substance.More>>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 7:14 PM EDT2013-06-18 23:14:30 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Three major resort projects in Las Vegas could be the boost the local economy needs. The construction and hospitality industries have struggled since the recession, but signs of a reboundMore>>
Three major resort projects in Las Vegas could be the boost the local economy needs. The construction and hospitality industries have struggled since the recession, but signs of a rebound are emerging.More>>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 7:08 PM EDT2013-06-18 23:08:21 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Clark County residents could soon be paying nearly 3 cents more a gallon for fuel, depending on a decision by county commissioners. The Nevada Legislature recently approved a bill that allowsMore>>
Clark County residents could soon be paying nearly 3 cents more a gallon for fuel, depending on a decision by county commissioners.More>>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 6:18 PM EDT2013-06-18 22:18:45 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- A domestic violence nonprofit organization that helps rescue women from violent relationships, is now itself in need of saving. Safe Faith United might have to shut its doors July 1 becauseMore>>
A domestic violence nonprofit organization that helps rescue women from violent relationships, is now itself in need of saving.More>>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 5:26 PM EDT2013-06-18 21:26:50 GMT
HENDERSON -- Imagine tens of thousands of children around the world learning to swim all at the same time. That's what happened Tuesday as part of "The World's Largest Swimming Lesson." The swimmingMore>>
Imagine tens of thousands of children around the world learning to swim all at the same time. That's what happened Tuesday as part of "The World's Largest Swimming Lesson."More>>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 3:33 PM EDT2013-06-18 19:33:34 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Motorcyclists and local authorities are using "Ride to Work" day to remind everyone to share the road. This year, there has been 16 motorcycle deaths in Nevada. John Cahill is an experiencedMore>>
Motorcyclists and local authorities are using "Ride to Work" day to remind everyone to share the road.More>>
ELKO COUNTY, Nev. -- A wild horse roundup in northern Nevada has ended, for now. Phase one of the Tuscarora Gather captured 636 horses, but 21 mustangs died during the operation, mostly from a combination of stress, heat, and dehydration.
Now, the Bureau of Land Management is ready to start phase two of the roundup, unless wild horse advocates once again head to federal court.
BLM now says this was an emergency rescue, not a routine roundup, though there was no emergency, and no dead horses, until the roundup started. Critics ask why couldn't this wait for a month or so, until the horses could be watered and the temperatures weren't so hot?
One reason is the BLM's contractor, Sue Cattour, who is being paid more than $1 million, is already booked up later in the year. Also, a delayed gather might be easier on the horses, but could interfere with deer hunting season.
Either way, BLM is ready to spring into action again, though horse advocates might try to stop it.
In the high desert of Elko County, water is precious, but not that hard to find. The Chimney Reservoir located in one of the two herd areas next on BLM's list was spotted by wild horse advocates Laura Leigh and Elyse Gardner as they flew over the range with the I-Team.
Will BLM argue there isn't enough water here for wild horses, as it did in the Owyhee area? A roundup there caused 21 mustangs to die, so far.
During a hearing in federal court, Nevada wild horse boss Alan Shepard testified that water in Owyhee was limited, that none of it was fenced off from the horses, and that there were no cows on the range, statements which could cause problems later.
For instance, the sprawling desert ranch reservoir is in Owyhee. But, BLM says, while it is on public land, the water is privately owned. That's why there are fences around it, though the fence has a few gates for access.
Horse advocates say the main reason horses can't get to water out here is the BLM has allowed ranchers to fence off many of the water sources on public land.
The overall message is, there is water, just not for horses.
Prior to the flight, we mapped out a course with pilot Matt Jahnke to make sure we would be flying over Rock Creek and Little Humboldt, the next targets on the roundup list. Once in the air, it became clear there is a lot of water and greenery in these herd areas. The landscape is punctuated by small creeks and ponds.
There are barren areas as well, and if someone wanted to paint a bleak picture, it would be easy enough to edit out the good stuff. Photos released by BLM of dried up water sources in Owyhee are authentic, but hardly accurate since they don't paint the total picture.
Laura Leigh scouted Owyhee prior to the roundup, saw plenty of water, lots of fences, and, not surprisingly, cows everywhere.
"We didn't see any horses. We saw a lot of cows," she said.
And that's what we saw from the air -- lots of cows. Everywhere there was water, there were cows. We also saw bands of horses, running across pastures, kicking up clouds of dust on desert trails. It's hard to tell from the air, but they didn't look like the were dying.
The BLM says the public range can support around 4,000 cattle but only 400 or so horses. The Bureau vehemently denies it is removing horses to benefit cows, but the fact is, the two do compete for resources. BLM will allow the cows to remain in the herd areas, but the horses must go.
"We saw multiples of cows and water. I saw horses today, but not a quarter as many as cows. You see cows hanging around almost every water source," said Elyse Gardner.
Critics have good reason to doubt BLM's recent characterization of the Owyhee Gather as an emergency resource. The roundup was original scheduled for last year, but BLM surveyed the land and horses and found both in good shape, such good shape that they re-authorized cattle grazing and then put off the gather for a year.
In a film produced by BLM, the agency acknowledged some water holes in Owyhee would run dry by this June. If the water holes would be dry in June, why does BLM wait until the heat of mid-July to start its roundup, critics ask?
BLM news releases never characterized the gather as an emergency. There were no dead horses at all, not until contractor Sue Cattour started running the mustangs over many miles and saw them die in her corral. Only then did it become an emergency. If it really has been monitoring horses and the land, how did BLM not know what would happen?
"If it's an emergency gather as they're claiming, where they are going from zero dead to 75-percent of the herd dead in three days, that's another indication something is not right here," said Leigh.
Horse advocates point to a massive gold mine right next to the herd areas. It uses millions of gallons of water every day, suggesting there is enough water that BLM could drill a well and supply the horses, at least through the rough spell, and then remove them later when it is safer.
Cattour doesn't like that idea. She says the horse advocates are to blame for recent deaths because they delayed the roundup for a few days by going to court. Cattour thinks the press and public should back off the BLM and let it do its job without so much scrutiny.