Wednesday, October 14, 2009

More on the Winecup-Gamble "Corporate Welfare" Ranch, Inc.

...Owned by Investors, some "down home" family ranch!

Ranch to address horse sanctuary
By JULIE WOOTTON- Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 6, 2009 8:25 AM PDT

ELKO — Representatives from the Winecup Gamble Ranch will address concerns about the wild horse sanctuary proposal Thursday during an Elko County Commission meeting.

During a meeting last month, Commissioner Demar Dahl said he compiled a list of concerns about the proposal. Dahl said Monday that not much has been done regarding negotiations over the proposal since then.

He said the proposal isn’t a long-term solution.

“I see the proposal as a diversion that might derail any productive movement to solve the wild horse problem,” Dahl said.

Winecup Gamble Ranch manager Gary Weisbart said Monday that he received Dahl’s list of concerns and is preparing a written response to distribute during the county commission meeting Thursday.

“All of the concerns have been addressed,” Weisbart said.

Commissioners are on record opposing the potential horse sanctuary on the northeastern Elko County ranch. However, commission chairwoman Sheri Eklund-Brown opposed the motion.

Eklund-Brown said she supports private property rights but is on the fence about the proposal.

Dahl said Monday that he doesn’t see the proposal as a private property issue.

Commissioners tabled an agenda item regarding the proposal last month because representatives from the ranch were unable to attend the meeting.

After the meeting last month, Weisbart wrote in a Sept. 23 letter to commissioners that he hadn’t received a copy of the list of concerns.

“... I am deeply concerned that, despite having met or spoken with most of you about the proposed wild horse sanctuary, there are concerns that some commissioners may plan to express at the October meeting which have not been communicated to me,” Weisbart wrote in the letter.

The list of concerns includes six points explaining why county commissioners oppose the wild horse sanctuary.

“The Winecup Gamble Ranch is presently an enterprise that creates revenue which contributes to the economy of Elko County,” according to the list of concerns. “If the Ranch becomes a holding facility for wild horses, it will become an enterprise supported by American tax payers which will cost millions of dollars.”

Dahl said Monday that he sees the ranch as a productive entity that generates tax income for the county.

The wild horse sanctuary proposal states Elko County will continue to receive tax revenues from the ranch.

According to the proposal, “Elko County will prosper from the Wild Horse Sanctuary through additional tourism, the development of agricultural and recreational resources and the continued support of local merchants which will all add to the county’s revenue.”

The commissioner’s list includes other concerns such as the containment of wild horses within ranch property and long-term wild horse overpopulation.

The list of concerns also states that the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971 would have to be amended before wild horses could be kept at the ranch.

Dahl said the law would have to be amended because wild horses weren’t in the Winecup Gamble Ranch area when the law passed in 1971.

“If we change the law, that opens up a whole new set of problems,” he said.

A.K. Supp, a resident of Wells, wrote a letter to Dahl Sept. 24 expressing his concerns about the wild horse sanctuary proposal.

In the letter, Supp wrote that the wild horse act is causing the problems and should be appealed.

The sanctuary would encompass 250,000 acres of private property owned by Walker-Winecup Gamble Inc. and another 750,000 acres maintained by the Bureau of Land Management.

The Elko County Commission meetings are open to the public at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday in room 105 of the Elko County Courthouse, 571 Idaho St.

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