ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Call it round two of the Coronado Soil and Water Conservation District’s effort to get the free-roaming horses out of Placitas.
The Coronado board passed a resolution on Aug. 6 calling for the hundred or more horses to be removed from the Placitas area, opposing the installation of cattle guards on N.M. 165 and declining to act as a lead agency to use the contraceptive PZP (porcine zona pellucida) to control the horse population.
The board also resolved to produce a comprehensive land an water stewardship plan. Coronado is an independent political subdivision of the state, tasked with protecting the environment in a district that includes Placitas.
In June, Coronado issued an order telling the New Mexico Livestock Board to exercise its legal duty to round up and remove the horses, claiming they were damaging land around Placitas.
At that time, Livestock Board Director Ray Baca told the Journal Coronado lacked authority to issue the order.
On Monday, the Coronado board emailed the resolution, to dozens of recipients including Governor Susana Martinez and addresses at the state Agriculture Department, New Mexico Livestock Board, the Albuquerque office of the Bureau of Land Management, Sandoval County and state legislators representing Placitas.
An email message accompanying the resolution asked the Agriculture Department, Livestock Board, BLM and Sandoval County for assistance in confining and removing the horses as soon as possible.
The free-roaming horses have been a divisive issue in Placitas. Some residents support Coronado’s claim that the animals have damaged the lands, others advocate for the horses’ right to roam freely.
Sandoval County spokesman Sidney Hill said on Tuesday he was unfamiliar with the Coronado email but that the county would not comment on the Placitas horse situation.
Gary Miles, the only member of the six person board who did not sign the resolutions, left the meeting before they voted on the resolutions. He is strongly opposed to the request to remove the horses.
“It stinks,” Miles said.
Miles runs Placitas Animal Rescue. He has helped move 27 horses grazing along N.M. 165 to locations away from road traffic. Miles has also raised money to buy hay to feed the roaming horses and recently trained to inject mares with the PZP contraceptive and is ready to use it, when he can legally do so, Miles said.