Las Vegas Sun

August 1, 2014

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Ranchers on horseback deliver petitions to Nevada governor

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STEVE MARCUS

Cattle graze by the Virgin River near Bunkerville Tuesday, April 15, 2014.

CARSON CITY — About 40 riders on horseback blocked traffic on Nevada's capital city main highway to deliver petitions against the BLM over grazing reductions on federal land to Gov. Brian Sandoval.

The rally ended a weeklong, 300-mile Pony Express-style odyssey orchestrated by Elko County Commissioner Grant Gerber that began on Memorial Day in Elko.

Several dozen ranchers from around northern Nevada met with Sandoval, who assured them he would take their concerns over grazing allotments in Battle Mountain to the highest officials in the federal agency.

Many supporters met up with the cross-state riders in a Carson City park to ride the final few miles to the state Capitol.

Gerber, an attorney, said the horses averaged 10 mph since setting off Monday morning from Elko and made stops in other rural counties.

Gerber said reductions in cattle grazing would lead to an increased fire danger with the high grasses.

“Millions of animals, including sage grouse, are at imminent risk of burning, because the fuel load continues to increase on BLM land," according to the petition.

Las Vegas Sun reporter Cy Ryan and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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