New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment. It is difficult to list all the great attributes our state possesses to earn this title.
One of the positive features in the opinion of many, including us, are the beautiful wild horses of Placitas. These majestic creatures offer a charm unsurpassed anywhere else within out state. It is therefore with dismay that we read about our county's proposal to limit Placitas residents' ability to offer food or water to horses roaming within their neighborhoods ("Commission to Again Vote on Free-roaming Horse Feeding Ban," Sandoval Signpost, May, 5, 2023)
One of the risks of an ordinance such as this is that neighbor will turn in neighbor to authorities if there is a real perceived violation of the statute. While there is overwhelming acceptance and support for the wild horses, there is indeed a small minority who do not appreciate these creatures for what they are and what they represent. In a country so divided as we are at present, this small yet significant law stands to exacerbate existing political divides in our country.
If the primary reason for enacting the proposed feeding ban is to reduce the potential of automobile-horse collisions, we suggest that our elected officials devote their time and energy to working with the state to reduce the speed limits within Placitas. An addition of a few minutes driving time between destination points will be a minor inconvenience, yet offer a win-win situation to everyone.
As anyone who drives our roads will attest, there are many cyclists and folks walking along the byways, often necessitating drivers to slow down to ensure safe passage for all. If speed limits are reduces, and enforced, the likelihood of a collision with horses could be eliminated. As former residents of a state with a large whitetail deer population, we can speak from experience that such a simple approach is effective with many positive secondary effects.
We strongly urge our county officials to seriously consider this approach rather than the passage of an unenforceable ordinance with many negative consequences.
John and Karen Fischer
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