Author: Thomas Mitchell

New book highlights mustang woes

There is a uniquely Western thrill in witnessing a herd of wild mustangs galloping across a sagebrush-dotted hillside. There is a concomitant melancholy to seeing acres of small corrals stretching across Palomino Valley near Reno, each filled with milling mustangs. These are the shaggy, skinny, sway-backed, pied, dappled and spotted unadoptables imprisoned  by the Bureau of Land Management for the crime of overbreeding in the wild. You get a sense of this contrast in the pages of rancher H. Alan Day’s new book, “The Horse Lover: A Cowboy’s Quest to Save the Wild Mustangs,” written with Lynn Wiese Sneyd....

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Ravens becoming threat to sage grouse population

Never are the agencies of the federal government more efficient, more capable than when they are working at diametric cross purposes — canceling out one objective with another. Agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Land Management, which are under the Interior Department, have been doubling down on efforts to save the greater sage grouse habitat across 11 Western states, including Nevada, by shutting down ranching, farming, mining and oil and gas exploration. At the same time the Interior Department has a policy of encouraging and expediting development of renewable energy production on...

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Rural counties must protect water

Rural Nevada counties should be careful with whom they form alliances. This past week two federal lawsuits were filed with the same intended purpose and with many of the same arguments proffered — trying to reverse the Interior Department and the Bureau of Land Management’s decision to grant right of way for 300 miles of pipeline to allow Las Vegas to tap groundwater from eastern Nevada valleys. The two suits are expected to be combined at some point. In a parallel case, a state judge’s decision blocking the project is on appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court. One 32-page...

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Statehood celebration a time to reflect on the past

To mark Nevada’s 150 years of statehood, the Sesquicentennial Commission has created “a year-long series of festivities and educational events which will highlight our state’s rich cultural heritage …” Yes, Nevada was Battle Born in the waning days of the bloody Civil War — Oct. 31, 1864. It played a significant role in an important period, helping determine that “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” But we have little concept today of what daily life was like for those hardy Nevadans 150 years ago. Luckily we can still get...

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Fate of seven public land bills in Reid’s hands

A package of seven Nevada public lands bills — collectively known as the Northern Nevada Land Conservation and Economic Development Act — recently cleared the House Natural Resources Committee on a 29-14 bipartisan vote. The package is expected to be approved by the full House, but its fate in Harry Reid’s Senate, where House bills go to die, is murky. Among the seven bills in the package is the long-awaited Lyon County Economic Development and Conservation Act, which would allow the town of Yerington to buy 12,500 acres of federal land adjacent to the Pumpkin Hollow copper mine for an...

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