We received an emergency call on Thursday after noon March 22nd that a foal was in possible trouble in the water. Our volunteers Bren and Ryan Schultz arrived on the scene within ten minutes and were able to save the foal from drowning just as it was floating away and dissapearing under water. SRP had just released 800 cpu from the Stewart Mountain Dam and the current proved to much for the couple trying to hang on to the foal. They could not make it back to shore. Simone who had arrived at the scene called for help from MCSO.
MCSO rescued not only our volunteers Ryan Schultz and Bren Schultz, but brought the foal to the other side of the river and helped us reunite him with his mom and his band. Ryan and Bren as well as the foal got very cold, but they are all just fine. We have since been monitoring mom and foal and they are doing great. The newborn will be named Clint, after the deputy in charge of the rescue.
Thank you FOX10 for a great recap of the rescue of the drowning foal and the rescue of the rescuers! All are well. PS. We are talking to SRP (Salt River Project) about a more gradual release from the dam and about including a provision in their water management plan to make releases less traumatic on wildlife, protected Salt River wild horses and the environment on the lower Salt River.Posted by Salt River Wild Horse Management Group on Friday, March 23, 2018
Two more news stories aired tonight: Thank you AZFamily channels 3 and 5 for a great recap of the rescue of the drowning foal and the rescue of the rescuers! All are well. PS. We are talking to SRP (Salt River Project) about a more gradual release from the dam and about including a provision in their water management plan to make releases less traumatic on wildlife, protected Salt River wild horses and the environment on the lower Salt River.Posted by Salt River Wild Horse Management Group on Friday, March 23, 2018
P.S. We will say that we think this water management system by SRP needs change, as it does not have any provisions in their management for the ecosystem, wildlife, or protected Salt River wild horses. All winter there is only 8 CFU coming out of the dam, which is not enough to sustain river eelgrass or aquatic life, but then all at once a flash flood is released on the Salt River during the switching event. They explain that this is necessary because of the switch of the rivers, and we understand that. People have water rights and of course they have to consider their paying customers.
We just think that this amazing and beautiful ecosystem of the lower Salt River is important, it should be entitled to at least some minimum consideration. This beautiful area brings in millions of visitors yearly and is home to thousands of different species of wildlife as well as the protected Salt River wild horses. When the release of the water occurred, water birds that had made their nests already on the banks of the river lost their young, otters had made their nests already and lost their young, squirls, although not as important to some, were screaming at the waters edge for their drowning babies, snakes were even swirling in the current, and this newborn foal had no chance at all in the current.
At the end of the year the opposite will happen. The rivers get switched and the Salt River goes from 800 CFU, to 8 CFU, which is only a trickle of water and it leaves all the river eelgrass and fish rotting in the sun. It gets incredibly stinky, gross and sad. This management system is unnatural and devastates the ecosystem each change of season.
We will continue to advocate for this ecosystem to gain some water rights of its own. We asked for a minimum of 100 cfu for the Salt River in the winter, just like the Verde River gets for its ecosystem. We asked for a slower change of water pressure from 3 days to 10 days so that protected Salt River wild horses have a chance to get used to the change. We hope you will stand with us.