Lesperance appears to be taking the counsel of Don Alt, a local cowboy outlaw and liar who has on various occasions claims to own much of the eastern Virginia Range, regardless as to the fact that his claimed properties include public lands and sections owned by other individuals and entities.
The following news article appeared in the region's newspapers. Locals were astounded by both the number and depth of false statements that the article contained. Here is a reprint of an article that appeared in the Reno Gazette-Journal on April 11. These purported facts will be addressed point by point further on in this article.
NO MONEY TO FEED NAVADAS WILD HORSES
CARSON CITY (AP) Nevadas new Agriculture Department director says the state cant afford to buy hay to feed stray horses, although many of them may be starving in mountains near Virginia City.
Director Tony Lesperance also says that while people refer to about 200 horses in the Virginia Range as wild, they're mainly stray horses set free by their owners.
Lesperance told the Legislatures Interim Finance Committee that he will come up with a plan to remove many of the horses.
I am far more concerned about the decline of the Virginia Range as an environmentalist than I am concerned about those horses, he said Wednesday. There is a total loss of forage.
A 1997 law gave the Agriculture Department responsibility for managing the horses wandering the Virginia Range, mountains that run from near Dayton past Virginia City and the south edge of Reno. The stray horses run on state or private land. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management oversees wild horses on federal lands.
Assemblyman Tom Grady, R-Yerington, said he has been getting calls from people concerned about starving horses.
There are over 1,200 horses up there now and no feed for them, Grady said. Where are you going to get the money to buy hay for them?
Lesperance and Deputy Agriculture Director Rick Gimlin said it is not their intention to buy hay for horses. It costs about $4.60 a day to buy hay to feed horses, according to estimates made by the Agriculture Department in January.
It is a serious, serious problem. It is going to be dealt with, Lesperance said. We are going to bring the number of horses down as rapidly as we can.
He gave no indication on what plan for managing the horses he is considering, although he did say there is little public demand for adopting the horses.
In material given the committee, Agriculture Department representatives said they are concerned there would be picketing and demonstrations if they tried to auction off stray horses.
PLEASE sign this petition to tell Mr. Lesperance and the rest of the Nevada Agricultural Department, the Nevada Govenor and anyone else who will listen, the Ag Reps are right, ....there WILL be MUCH "pickiting & Demonstrations" if Nevadas Herds arent preserved and perserved PROPERLY. Let the beaurocrats know that Americans WILL NOT sit still while our wild horse herds are being declimated.
Just Say NO to Declaimation! Just say NO to NO MORE LIES! The horses are not a threat to the environment! You are using that for an excuse to get the wild horses off the range. The American Horse-Loving Community wont stand for it!
Horse-lovers, humanitarians, fair-minded people all over the world, look what they are doing to our American Wild Horses! Are we "OK" with this? I think NOT! Make your voices heard now! Sign the petition and make the calls. The Nevada horses need us now more than ever!
Here are the numbers to call:
Gov. Gibbons (775) 684-5670
Nev. Dept. of Agriculture: (775) 688-1180
Tell them WILD HORSE ANNIE & LEO HEIL told you to call!