RENO, Nev. (News 4 & Fox 11) — The Nevada Department of Agriculture has given written approval to two horse advocacy groups to conduct "diversionary feeding" for Virginia Range feral horses.
The intention is to draw the horses away from neighborhoods and roadways in order increase safety and prevent horse-related crashes.
The two groups will join the single NDA officer dedicated to managing the problem in northern Nevada.
The issue is becoming increasingly relevant as we enter into the winter months. An official with the Department of Agriculture is asking northern Nevadans to remain vigilant of horses coming down from the hills and into urban areas.
“We urge caution this time of year, as feral horses come into residential areas and cross roadways in search of feed and water sources,” Doug Farris, Animal Industry division administrator for the Nevada Department of Agriculture, said.
Farris also reminds the public that feeding feral livestock is illegal under NRS 569.040.
NDOT is also working to protect both horses and drivers from roadway collisions.
Over the summer, NDOT installed segments of additional roadside fencing and sixteen cattle guards on Alternate U.S. 395 in certain areas of Pleasant Valley.
In spring 2019, NDOT plans to add fencing along U.S. 50 between Stagecoach and USA Parkway.
The fencing is in addition to current fencing along U.S. 50, Alternate U.S. 95 and USA Parkway.
NDOT has ten wild horse crossing signs on the U.S. 50 corridor. Roughly half of those are flashing signs which read “major horse crossing” signs placed in areas of highly-concentrated horse crossings.
A wildlife underpass was constructed under U.S. 50 east of Dayton in 2013.
Two others are located under USA Parkway. They should last more than 75 years and are projected to reduce 90% of potential horse- related crashes along the new 15- mile section of USA Parkway, according to NDOT.
To report horses near unfenced highways or roadways in the Virginia Range area, call (775) 353-3608.