Cory Farley, voted "Best of Reno" 26 times in 27 years by readers of his column in the Reno Gazette-Journal, takes an unconventional look at topics from presidential elections to the best way to cook Brussels sprouts.

Location: Verdi, Nev, United States

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What Gov. Gibbons has in mind for the mustangs

If you caught any part of the presumptuously titled Cory Farley Show on KBZZ Tuesday, you probably heard Lacy J. Dalton and Willis Lamm talking about Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons' plans for the state's wild horses.
Lacy was a pretty hot country singer in the '80s (CMA Newcomer of the Year in 1983, I think it was) and has performed with most of the big names in the business. She took a break for awhile to deal with some personal issues, but is back performing again and has a new CD, "What Don't Kill You Makes You Stronger," coming soon. My wife and I saw her at Piper's Opera House on the Comstock a few months ago, and she still has the stage presence and powerful voice that led one critic to call her a combination of Janis Joplin, Bonnie Raitt and Joan Baez.
Most journalists who've been around long enough to get over their jock-sniffer awe dislike doing celebrity interviews. You're generally talking to people who've been interviewed hundreds of times and who have a carefully cultivated image. They give canned answers to the usual questions, dodge or draw a blank on unusual ones and escape as soon as they can, their duty to the fans done for another day.
Sometimes you find an exception, especially if you can get them talking about something other than their careers. Lacy is passionate about Nevada's mustangs, and she and Lamm gave us an entertaining, informative hour and a half.
A little background, then I'll give two Web sites for more information on the mustangs, plus the one I promised on the air that features (warning! And I mean it!) extremely graphic video of wild horses being slaughtered.
Nevada's Director of Agriculture, a Gibbons appointee named Tony Lesperance, has promised to remove all 1200 or so mustangs from the Virginia Range, in and around Storey County. Gibbons, when he was in Congress, had a career rating of zero, as in zip, none, nada, from the League of Conservation Voters, and Lesperance is a nutjob anti-government rancher, a member of the "shovel brigade" that battled the feds near Elko a few years ago over a road in the Jarbidge wilderness. For the bulk of Nevadans, concerned about the future of the state and its wild lands, he's about the worst choice imaginable for the position he holds. Which of course made him a natural pick for Gibbons ....
Anyway: Lesperance, who's been called "one of the most radical members" of the anti-government movement, has vowed to get the mustangs off the range, claiming that they're not native to the area, that they're starving, and that each one contains a tiny little Al Qaeda terrorist armed with weapons of mass destruction. I made that last part up.
Dalton and Lamm represent a number of environmental and wildlife groups that have allied for the emergency, bent on protecting the horses initially, and with a dream of creating a sanctuary for them, where visitors could come from around the world to see them in their native environment.
Dalton has founded an organization called Let 'em Run. You can check that out at Lamm has an intimidatingly detailed, documented and damning site of his own,, indispensable to the formation of an opinion on this issue.
And if you feel yourself beginning to be swayed by Lesperance's arguments--which, I will say as plainly as I can, are mostly crap--look here for undercover footage of horses sent to Mexico for slaughter:
A final warning: It is not for the faint of heart, stomach or will. Or for children.


Blogger nopastels said...

I heard some of your comments on the radio this AM, pretty interesting stuff. Maybe the Mustangs killed a few years back were were killed by friends of Gibbons, weren't there about 40 killed at the time. In fact I believe that there were 3 young miliary personnel involved.

There are enough people in this area to help these beautiful wild horses, we have to stop this dreadful administration. He must be taking notes from the Bushies.


6:45 PM  
Blogger Steve_R said...

Yhank you for sharing an issue from your radio show with those of us who can't otherwise hear it.
Wild Mustangs aren't native to Nevada, but neither are the people, livestock and pets that live there now.
I have sen a few of the mustangs in my travels, and they seem beautiful and relatively harmless compared to man'd activities.

9:23 PM  
Blogger Michael Lee said...

If it doesn't make money, than it must be the enemy." seems to be the mantra of the Republicans nowadays. I have always loved the Mustangs. I had a friend that lived in Hidden Valley, and he complained about them crapping on his lawn, but in the next breath, he expressed his awe about them being in his presence. I think we ALL need to call our insensitive Gov. and let him know how valuable this kind of heritage is to us. Even if you don't care that much about these beautiful animals, do it because it is strictly Nevada and unique.

9:25 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

I read an interview with Lacey Dalton in the Virginia City newspaper, or whatever it is, while waiting at the credit union. I was impressed by her genuine involvement with wild horses and equally dismayed that the BLM isn't doing something they decreed themselves qualified and mandated to do. The wild horses tend to come down here where we live, until someone calls the BLM and has them hauled off. You know they aren't coming to haul them off because of charitable good will - there are $$$ signs involved for someone.

11:11 PM  
Blogger rfbulle said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:17 AM  
Blogger rfbulle said...

How did that #$%%*^$ (Gibbons) ever get elected? Isn't there some type of intelligence test they have to pass before assuming office?

8:21 AM  
Blogger Pogonip said...

You say what Gibbons "has in mind." Wouldn't that require the possession of a mind? Of some rational thinking capability? I don't recall seeing any indication that exists in our elected governor.

Someone asked why he was elected. Well, they wanted him out of the House of Representatives - his party did. Then nobody ran against him for the governorship.

It's gotten very difficult to talk anyone with any sense at all into running for public office. Who wants that grief?

11:26 AM  
Blogger GollyGeeWhiz said...

Can we do a reality check on the mustang thing?

FACT: The Native Americans killed and ate all the wild horses that evolved on the North American continent. They really killed and ate them all. We should be killing and eating the horses that are left, but us white folk aren't as smart as Native Americans.

FACT: Every horse on the North American continent came from somewhere else. Mostly Spain. Nevada does not have a population of wild horses that is representative of the state. In fact, MOST "wild" horses are horses rat-bastard owners (you know who you are) have released to the so-called "wild" because they are no longer willing to support them. Your neighbor Bill's horse is the "wild" horse eating your flowers that the crazed "wild horse" advoctate wants to save for the state.

I dined on horse meat stew while serving as a Marine in Vietnam and I'd like to know why eating horses is different from eating deer or moose or elk or, if you want to, mule and donkey. Can someone explain to me the difference?

Out in the central Nevada desert are truly wild horses, masters of the land. They suck up every resource available to native species. They have no natural predators. They dominate their range.

Real wild horses don't need you to feed them. Wild horses are...let me think this out...uh...well...wild? Wild? Not needing my support? Not needing to be fed?

No, no, no, let's feed the wild horses so they can run free. Wild horses. Run free. Run free wild horses. Feed. Run horses free. Global warming. HD TV. Florescent light bulbs. Hybrid cars.

Tell me why the descendents of
Spanish horses, turned loose on a neighborhood because the owners are no longer willing to feed them, represents the Virginia Highlands notion of the Wild West, virtually every resident having come from the eastern side of the Rockies?

9:42 PM  
Blogger Cory said...

Golly Gee, you're wrong on several counts, in addition to being overly impressed with yourself. Goes with the Semper Fi, I suspect.
Truthfully, I don't care that much about the mustangs individually. My wife (who DOES care about them) and I have had a couple of discussions about why we eat cows, goats and sheep but not horses. I'm not planning to have any more, but the question is still valid.
Beyond that: While it's true that the horses in North American NOW were descended from transplants, horses evolved on this continent. From that standpoint, it's hard to say they don't have a place here.
You're also wrong about the majority of mustangs being abandoned. We addressed that on the show. It's just not true.
You've parroted Tony Lesperance's claim that the state is feeding the horses, which is also inaccurate. They've fed by a number of private groups, as Lacy and Willis said on the air. Tha state doesn't feed them and never has.
Your claim that "virtually every resident" of Virginia Highlands is from east of the Rockies is just silly. We can throw that out. stew? In the Marines? I'd like to know the circumstances of that. I was a medic on a Special Forces A Team, and in the field with the Montagnards I ate monkey, dog, a water buffalo that was killed by a mortar round and something I suspect was cat (I didn't know the word, but when I asked my translator what it was, he said, "MeeROW"). Never saw any horse stew, though.

12:23 PM  

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