WKYT - Harlan - Headlines

Controversy over wild horses on mine reclamation site

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

A coal company says dozens of wild horses are hurting a reclamation effort in Harlan County.

The company wants to remove the horses, but the humane society wants the horses to stay.

Dozens, maybe even hundreds of wild horses roam on top of a mountain in the Dingo area of Harlan County.

"They've been there for forty or more years. These are generations after generations of horses," said Marcella Chadwick, Harlan County Humane Society President.

Officials with Sequoia Energy say the horses are interfering with mine reclamation on top of the mountain. Mining officials at the site declined to talk on camera but said the horses are constantly eating all the grass they sow. Mining officials want the horses removed so they can complete reclamation.

"I was shocked when I was approached with it. It shocked me," said Chadwick.

The Harlan County Humane Society wants the horses to stay on the mountaintop.

"That's our main objective is to keep the horses there and keep them in their home," said Chadwick.

Sequoia Energy is asking for the public's help to find new homes for the horses.

The Humane Society is telling people not to try to move a horse from the mountain. They say because the horses are wild, it could be dangerous to try to harness them or load them in trailers.

While Sequoia Energy looks for ways to safely remove the horses, the humane society says it will fight to keep them there.

At this time, Harlan County officials do not have a position on the issue because the property is mine property.

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