We’re sharing some comments regarding the Heber wild horses suggested on Arizona advocate Jill Irvin’s Terra Wind Ranch facebook page.
The Heber Allotment Environmental Assessment is out and comments are due THIS FRIDAY.
“Heber Grazing Allotment Analysis #43442 Public Comment”
MUST BE in the subject line of your email in order for your comment to count!!
Send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Some talking points:
1) The NO grazing alternative is the least expensive.
The document requests structural and nonstructural improvements totaling over $4 million dollars and does not indicate a specific funding source. The document states, ““Projects such as these have the potential to be multi-financed between several partners, such as AZGFD, wildlife groups, permittee, and the Forest Service.” We can assume that taxpayers will be responsible for all if not most of the costs unless they tell us otherwise.
2) The NO grazing alternative has the greatest potential to stimulate the economy and increase tax revenues.
According to the latest census data regarding the Heber/Overgaard area (courtesy of the Arizona State Department of Commerce), the greatest revenues to the area are a result of tourism, retirement, government, schools, retail and construction. The no grazing alternative would increase the scenic value of the area and has the potential to increase tourist revenue.
3) The NO grazing alternative would provide the best environmental benefits.
The document states that the greatest opportunity for habitat improvement for many plant and wildlife species is the no grazing alternative and would result in improved soil stability and less stream turbidity. The EA also states the “primary benefit of this alternative is that recovery of soils, watershed and riparian conditions would occur.”
If you want to mention the horses …
The EA impacts almost half of the Heber Wild Horse Territory, but does not specifically discuss the potential impact from grazing under the new proposal to the wild horses this territory was created to protect.
The Heber Wild Horse Territory was created approximately 42 years ago, yet the Forest Service has never developed a territory management plan to protect the wild horses. In many of the Forest Service documents and proposals written over the years any potential impact to the wild horses is not even discussed. Larry Gibson, who currently manages the cattle owned by Seibert Cattle Company, has publicly stated that he wants every one of the wild horses removed, whether by adoption, euthanasia or slaughter. He is not willing to share the forest with the wild horses. Federal law mandates that the horses must remain in the territory, but Seibert Cattle Company can graze their cattle anywhere that grazing is allowed in the entire country.
(I encourage you to click on the link above and read the transcript of the 4 minute radio story as well as the comments below the interview.)
Thanks so much for your help preserving the freedom of the magnificent Heber Wild Horses. They are so worth the fight. Once these amazing wild horses are gone, they will be gone forever. We cannot let that happen.