Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Nevadas Newly Formed "Feral Horse Commission" Seeks to Take Wild Horse & Burros Water Rights Away



By its own laws, BLM has a DUTY to SUE for Water Rights on Public Lands / Excerpt from Jubic v. BLM,..2008. Dismissed for lack of standing. Merit of issues not addressed;

BLMs Claim of Insufficient Water

61. Water sources in arid regions are always “limited.” However, the Ely / Lincoln County Districts of Nevada have the largest water supply in the whole of the state with numerous streams, wells, rivers and creeks. Furthermore, there are plans for a great expansion for increased water sources for the entire state of Nevada as is part of the development plans for this area . (See "Ely District Development Plans, ROD Ex.C). See also Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Lincoln County Land Act Groundwater Development and Utility Right-of-Way Project, Nevada

62. Also as a result of the development plans, wildlife areas are being expanded with plans to put water "guzzers" in place so that the wild deer and elk will have water. Plaintiff submits that the defendants have a duty to provide for or allow access to same for our Nation’s wild horse herds. Plaintiff argues that the problem is not a lack of water sources but a lack of water rights. Nevada is a state that claims rights to all the waters and water sources within the state and, in fact, has been involved with much litigation with the BLM on this matter. A great part of the water problems on federal lands is owing to the fact that more grazing permits than ever are being retired. When that happens, the ranchers, who claim the water rights based upon state law “custom and usage,” shut off their "guzzlers" and other water supplies to the lands as they are no longer needed for their cows. As a consequence, the wild horses are forced to travel further in search of water, sometimes crossing invisible jurisdictional lines and getting themselves into trouble and danger of being shot by the ranchers as “strays.”.

63. There is no doubt that acquiring access to Nevadas waters is a legal, not a geographic problem or based on insufficiencies. Plaintiff submits that despite the difficulties and legalities involved in achieving water rights in Nevada, the BLM nevertheless has a duty to see to it that adequate water is available for the wild horses that roam within their various HMAs. Plaintiff further submits that the defendants have failed in that duty;

"It is BLM policy to conform with applicable state laws and administrative claims procedures for water rights when managing and administering all BLM programs and projects, except as otherwise specifically mandated by Congress. The State Engineer Office in the Division of Water Resources of the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, administers water rights programs in Nevada based on beneficial use and the Doctrine of Prior Appropriation. The State of Nevada regulates its water rights programs using guidance in chapters 533 and 534 of the Nevada Revised Statutes. The BLM will acquire and perfect water rights necessary for public land management purposes according to these state laws and procedures. (Emphasis added.) The BLM also will protect existing water rights of the U.S. by protesting or providing comment during the state permitting process on applications for new water rights or for changes to existing water rights that may interfere with BLM’s ability to utilize such water for public land management purposes."


BLM needs to sue Nevada for water-rights on our public lands. If they do not, they are leaving themsleves open to a lawsuit from one of us for dereliction of their duty to so provide.

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