Assembly Bill 329, a Nevada bill that would remove wild horses and burros from the definition of wildlife, is now up for consideration.
Wildlife habitat is among the standard categories that water managers use to describe a beneficial use of water. If wild horses are not considered wildlife, the idea is that water will not be appropriated for these animals.
In a November 2010 draft letter to the State Engineer, the Nevada Department of Wildlife, which claims to be officially neutral on this issue, states:
“The Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners would strenuously object to any attempt to assign a form of beneficial use of Nevada water for these federally owned animals and we find that it would be entirely appropriate for the State of Nevada instruct the federal agencies to remove any federal animals that are using water in violation of Nevada Law.”
So this targets horses drinking today.