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House panel to take up bill to protect wild horses

Washington_The wife of Dallas oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens on Tuesday said her proposal for a wild horse sanctuary in the west would be good for the country. Madeleine Pickens also told a U.S. House panel in Washington that her plan would save the government close to $1 billion over the next decade.  Pickens testified before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands.

But, Ed Roberson with the Bureau of Land Management says the plan - initially welcomed as a way to save horses from being euthanized - is not viable as proposed.  The plan for a million-acre refuge in Nevada includes a federal stipend of $500 per horse per year for taking the animals off the government's hands.

Part of the refuge would be on public lands.  But, Roberson says it's "problematic'' to try to combine federal and private property for the program.

Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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