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NEVADA VIEWS: Nuclear tests and the Shoshone people via Las Vegas Review Journal

By Ian Zabarte Special to the Review-Journal

REGARDING Gary Martin’s June 15 Review-Journal article, “Nuke test rumors spur Nevada lawmakers”: As a Shoshone, we always had horses. My grandfather always told me, “Stop kicking up dust.” Now I understand that it was because of the radioactive fallout. To hide the impacts from nuclear weapons testing the US Congress defined Shoshone Indian ponies as “wild horses.” There is no such thing as a wild horse. They are feral horses but, the Wild Horse and Burrow Acts of 1971 gave the Bureau of Land Management the affirmative act to take Shoshone livestock while blaming the Shoshone ranchers for the destruction of the range caused by nuclear weapons testing. My livelihood was taken, and the Shoshone economy destroyed by the Bureau of Land Management. On the land, radioactive fallout destroyed the delicate high desert flora and fauna creating huge vulnerabilities where noxious and invasive plants species took hold.

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