The iconic salt river wild horses are in danger of being killed. The US Forest Service (USFS) has posted a public notice of roundup and removal. The outrageous part of the notice states: “Livestock not sold at public sale may be sold at private sale or condemned and destroyed, or otherwise disposed of.” The USFS has ignored a humane management proposal from the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group.
I am writing to object in the strongest of terms to the Forest Service planned removal of the Salt River wild horses in the Tonto National Forest.
In 1971 the USFS was mandated by the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act to establish wild horse territories where wild horses and burros existed at that time. The Forest Service admits that the Salt River Wild Horses were present in and around the Salt River at that time, and many eyewitnesses and articles prove that fact, yet they did not create a territory for the herd. The reason for this has never been answered by the USFS.
We believe that the Forest Service violated a federal law by refusing to assign a Wild Horse Territory where they themselves have records of wild horses roaming as far back as 1930. There is no reason why the Forest Service should want to rob Arizona of this historically, economically and ecologically significant herd. Why are they in such a hurry and why are they doing this without a fair public process?
We are at one of those crucial points in time that mankind really may regret years from now. If the horses are rounded up, the Forest Service will make an historical mistake that cannot be reversed.
Instead of using our tax dollars to eradicate the Salt River wild horses from the National Forest, we urge you to accept the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group’s Preservation Proposal. A public-private partnership offers opportunities for win-win solutions to preserve this amazing herd and important tourism and heritage resource.
The Salt River wild horses are beloved by the public and tourists who travel from around the world to visit this unique heritage herd, but once they are gone, they are gone for good. Please don’t let the USFS take away this important part of our natural heritage. Join the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group and ask the USFS to spare the horses and accept the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group’s Preservation Proposal.