Town Hall Meeting Addresses Plight of Salt River Wild Horses

By Erika Flores of KPHO.com

“many folks are still concerned about the Salt River horses…”

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MESA, AZ (KPHO/KTVK) – The U.S. Forest Service originally wanted to round up and remove the wild horses roaming in the Tonto National Forest. But that plan has been put on hold for now.

However, the horses’ fate is still very much up in the air.

More than 100 people gathered for a town hall meeting in Mesa Sunday to voice their concerns and offer solutions.

Residents said the horses are crucial to this state because they are part of Arizona’s identity.

The goal was to discuss what’s next, after controversial plans to round up the wild horses were put on pause.

The U.S. Forest Service originally wanted to remove the horses from national forest land due to safety concerns.

Lawmakers got involved, a lawsuit was filed, and then the Forest Service backed down.

But many folks are still concerned about the Salt River horses.

“I don’t want the next generation to wake up one morning, and say, ‘Oh my gosh. They’re removing our horses in six days.’ We have to protect them now. Declare them wild and create a sanctuary for them,” said Laurie Walker, who was at the meeting.

“People aren’t trained to interact with wildlife. We need to train people,” said Sheryl Styles, who wants a permanent solution for the horses. “It’s learning and teaching people how to interact with wildlife not removing our wildlife from our beautiful areas.”

The lawsuit is moving forward and the group behind it hopes it will help prevent the feds from ever removing the horses.

https://www.facebook.com/saltriverwildhorsemanagementgroup?fref=ts

10 comments on “Town Hall Meeting Addresses Plight of Salt River Wild Horses

      • Morgan, I am not sure that everyone in Congress is aware of what is happening to our wild horses, particularly in the Senate. The last wild horse bill that Congress signed into law was an amendment to the 1998 Shackleford Wild Horse Protection Act in 2003-2004. The laws that were actually used to kill horses at Cape Lookout, North Carolina between 1996 and 1998, and to manipulate the environment at Corolla to create genetic collapse through FWS mandating a herd size no greater than 60 began in 1997 and remains ongoing. Senator Byrd introduced the Restore Our American Mustangs Act in 2009. He never seemed to recover from his fainting spell during the Senate luncheon honoring the late Senator Edward Kennedy a few months later, but no one wanted to touch this legislation—Senator Byrd was a member of the Democratic Party, but unlike the House where Representative Rahall had several co-sponsors, there were none in the Senate. I think the Farm Bill of 2014 removed the auhority of the Department of Agriculture to remove any domestic species or wild horses due to being classified as a plant pest.

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  1. The people have spoken loud and clear. Why doesn’t local government get it? People don’t visit .Chicagoland or the Midwest to see Wild Horses and Burros. Although, I must say it would be wonderful to have such treasures in our back yard. People visit the Western States to see Wild Horses and Burros and other Wild life. It’s not the cowboys we come to see but the HORSES!!! Without the Wild Horses and Burros I think the tourism would be off. The West belongs to all of US and the government seems to be forgetting this. Kudos to the people!!!! Keep up the good work. Those of us in other parts of the country we call and email because we all feel so strongly about their preservation. It’s a shame money has to be spent defending their right to the land instead of improving their quality of life. Don’t forget to call your Legislators about the Safe Food, Safe Horse Act. If this legislation passes, it will stop the avenue to slaughter. I will be marching in Washington, DC on Sept. 29th for the same reason. Please try to make it if you can or visit your Legislators district office on that day to show support all our equines-both Wild and Domestic! Info is on the internet.

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    • I sure wish Wyoming’s folks had the huevos to speak up last fall. Arizona offers me hope there is still power in our people, it just needs waking up.

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  2. We have a right to be scared for their lives, look they almost got rounded up, and sent to slaughter. Leave them alone, they bring in visitors who come to see them in the wild, they do the land good.

    Liked by 1 person

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