Horse News

Forest Service decides to reevaluate plan to remove Wild Horses from Salt River

By Tami Hoey as published on KPHO TV

Tonto National Forest officials made the announcement Thursday they have decided to “take another look” at the plan.

PHOENIX (KPHO/KTVK) – The U.S. Forest Service is reevaluating its plan to round up and remove dozens of wild horses from the Salt River.

Neil Bosworth, Forest Supervisor at the Tonto National Forest, released this statement Thursday:

“We appreciate the local community’s feedback and we’ve decided to take another look at the proposed gathering of stray horses at Tonto National Forest. The Forest Service will continue to engage with the local community, state and federal officials to explore potential alternatives for meeting our obligations for both land stewardship and public safety.”

The Tonto National Forest had placed a Friday deadline on letting people claim any stray horses from the wild herd.  After that, Forest Service officials planned to round up the wild horses and remove them from the national forest land.

READ: Wild horses to be removed from Salt River; conservationists furious

The plan had stirred a huge amount of controversy, emotion and public outcry. The issue also prompted protests, and led advocates and lawmakers to make appeals to scrap the plan.

READ: AZ senators, reps take up battle over fate of Salt River horses

In response to the feedback, Tonto National Forest officials made the announcement Thursday they have decided to “take another look” at the plan.

The response was immediate. Sen. Jeff Flake posted this on his Twitter page Thursday afternoon:

Just received word that the #SaltRiverWildHorses roundup has been called off. The Forest Service has decided to reexamine the issue.

— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) August 6, 2015

Senator John Mcain responded on Twitter as well:

Forest Service is postponing roundup of #SaltRiverWildHorses – step in right direction, but FS must engage w/ concerned Arizonans, answer Qs

John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) August 6, 2015

Bill Miller is the attorney representing the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group, which filed a lawsuit to stop the feds from removing the horses.

Miller said that public pressure from the community had an impact on the U.S. Forest Service’s decision to take a step back and re-evaluate the wild horse issue.

“I think it was the forest service making the decision to monitor public input,” said Miller. “Obviously, they will be looking at the law we cited in our lawsuit and doing some due diligence to whether or not this is a proper decision.”

Miller said that Thursday’s announcement was a victory, but he’s not about to celebrate.

He plans to move forward with their lawsuit to prevent the forest service from ever removing wild horses in the future.

PHOTOS: Salt River wild horses

11 replies »

  1. Well, what else is there to say. They made the right decision. Folks are tired of the destruction of the Wild Horse and Burro family herds. I emailed them and did get a very nice email back. It certainly wasn’t the typical BLM false statements and inaccuracies. For once I think someone had a few brain cells working.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You bet they will reevaluate, almost every site I have gone to in the last few days (even non-animal related has the removal of the salt river horses, 20 so far) as bad as Cecil’s death was I believe it is opening people’s eyes wide to the plight of animals. Let’s not take the pressure off if their is something else we can do besides signing and emailing – now is the time to let us know.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I think people are paying attention now!

    Thank you, RT, for all you do and Thank God this was stopped. Let’s hope they keep using their brains and do not remove the horses ever.

    Perhaps the Governor and Senators can pass a law to make sure they are always protected. I think that might be the thing to do, since I heard these horses don’t fall under “federally protected”. Of course, “federally protected”, means they can imprison them for life they just can’t slaughter them.

    We so need to fix that too, but this is great news here!


      • Hopefully we can keep the attention focused long enough to really save these horses. Too often, something else comes up – in our very limited “news” cycle! Unfortunately, many of the people who got up in arms about the Salt River Horses have no clue that this is just one small herd of OUR wild horses. As Debbie says, this is only a delay.
        Would also be really great if the SAFE Act was able to be passed.


      • Debbie, you are so right. It is only a delay, but at least Congress will be in session. I had heard several months ago that something was up with these horses, but did hear anything again until Wed. or Thurs.

        If these horses were not protected under the 1971 WHB Act, they may fall under Article 8 (h) that directs parties to the conference to prevent, control, and eradicate alien species in those states or parts of states that the species is found to the extent practicable. Although this law is listed as a law of the United States under international treaty, this law along is not credited for the deaths of the North Carolna’s wild horses in 1996, 1997, and 1998 or the inbreeding that is now apparent in the Corolla herd as a result of FWS manipulation of the environment.

        The FS is unlikely to employ the same failed tactic the FWS tried to use in the Corolla Wild Horse Protection Act hearing on April 7, 2011. The FWS’s expert witness had been coached by the creator of the alien species construct, and still the Republicans ridiculed his claims. His frustrations were published in a subsequent blog where he revealed more about other repeating themes that are associated with Article 8 (h). He seemed like a nice enough person, but he really seemed to believe what he had been told was true. He is no longer there, so I wonder if perhaps he did some researches on his own.

        These horses now have the attention of at least two U.S. Senators and the Governor, all who appear to want to protect these wild horses within the state of Arizona, as national icons. The reality is that the entire world is teetering on the brink of war, and copper is a metal that is used for many purposes in the construction of materials necessary to set up a base such as copper pipes and copper wiring. I am fairly sure that it is used in the designs of some weapons and weapon technologies. It isn’t all just bangles and roofs. So the idea that the amendment was part of defense appropriations bill seems pretty practical if you understand that we don’t just drop our soldiers in the middle of the desert with a gun and a tooth brush and tell them to fight.


  4. Certainly does show what actual PUBLIC comment can do, doesn’t it? Now if we could just get this much public support over the whole wild horse & burro issue – think what could be accomplished!


  5. To be ever watchful and ready to mobilize has just gotten to be a way of life….as that well known saying goes
    “The price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance”


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