FOREST SERVICE IS FENCING THE LOWER SALT RIVER. MANAGEMENT GROUP WARNS PUBLIC OF DETRIMENTAL IMPACTS;
- SALT RIVER WILD HORSES TO LOSE HABITAT
- TUBERS/KAYAKERS TO BE HINDERED BY RIVER CROSS FENCE
What You Can Do To Help
We are declaring the week of Jan. 13th “Salt River Wild Horse Week” #SaveSaltRiverHorses please take one action a day or all in one day in support of these historic and cherished horses! Together, we will ask the Forest Service to nix the badly planned boundary fence, we will ask MCDOT to build an overpass, and will ask AZDA to choose Proposal 2 for the long term management of the Salt River wild horses.
Action #1: Write an email and contact the Forest Service
The new Local Mesa District Ranger Matt Lane
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: (480) 610-3301
The TNF Forest Supervisor Phoenix office
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: (602)225-5200
In your email be polite but OPPOSE the planned boundary fence along 4 miles of the lower Salt river because it is detrimental to the horses and to recreational users of the Lower Salt River! It will also push too many horses into a high use human area, and has not been developed in an open and transparent public process. Ask them to explore alternatives with the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group. Also strongly OPPOSE habitat reductions of the south side of Bush Hwy and ask for an overpass!
Action #2: Email the AZDA
Email the director of the AZDA: SaltRiverHorses@AZDA.gov
Be sure to thank AZDA for its humane management so far and encourage them to continue that path. Please keep these comments very polite, no matter how passionate you feel. Here are some writing points:
[–start email template–]
I, [your name] of [your address]…
SUPPORT the SRWHMG and Proposal 2, the Humane Management Plan for the Salt River horses, including the SRWHMG’s fertility control program to humanely reduce the population of Salt River horses over ten years to achieve population reductions. This is the only proposal consistent with state law and the wishes of Arizonans!
OPPOSE the boundary fence along 4 miles of the lower Salt river because it is detrimental to the horses and to recreational users of the Lower Salt River! It will also push too many horses into a high use human area.
REQUEST the construction of an overpass at the location of Coon Bluff. Without an overpass, the horses will lose their grazing grounds and 40% of their habitat, on the south side of the road. This habitat provides a crucial part of their diet and migrating patterns.
OPPOSE any and all removals of Salt River horses from their historic habitat.
URGE the AZDA to adopt an enforceable and official rule to prevent harassment of the horses by establishing a 50 ft distance for approaching the Salt River horses in order to protect public safety, this would make protection of the horses real as well as consistent with the law.
[–end email template–]
Action #3: Contact the Maricopa Department of Transportation (MCDOT)
John Counts is in charge of improvements on Bush Hwy.
- Email: JohnCounts@mail.maricopa.gov
- Phone: (602) 723.6764
- Email: TraciRuth@mail.maricopa.gov
- Phone: (602) 506.8628
In your polite but urgent communications please request a wildlife and wild horse overpass over Bush Hwy ASAP or they WILL lose 40% of their critical habitat and grazing grounds! Please also sign our upcoming petition asking MCDOT for an overpass!
Action #4 : Contact Governor Ducey
Thank Gov. Ducey for his support & ask him to continue to stand strong for the Salt River horses. Ask him to save their critical habitat by appropriating funds for an overpass. #SaveSaltRiverHorses
Also post a graphic on his Facebook page on day 4 of our action plan.
Action #5 Send a monthly donation to the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group
Send a monthly donation to the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group so we can continue to fight these plans and to help pay for the humane management of these horses. Even a few dollars a month makes a difference. Without your support, we cannot provide the humane management that they deserve, and that would also cause their removal.
On our website see:
- Long Term Wild Horse Management Plan
- Map of river fence planned by Forest Service.
See Press Release below.
Mesa, AZ (January 12, 2020)…. The Salt River Wild Horse Management Group (SRWHMG) today reacted to news that the Tonto National Forest intends to begin construction of a nearly four-mile, metal fence along the banks of the lower Salt River, warning that the fence will have devastating impacts to protected wild horses as well as to forest visitors.
The management group urged the Forest Service to drop plans to construct the fence and criticized its failure to disclose and analyze the boundary fence’s many serious impacts, which include blocking wild horses from accessing their critical river and historic habitats on both sides of the river, creating a risk of starvation and dehydration. The fence will also harm tubers and kayakers by forcing them to pass through a gate in the fence across the river, raising public safety and aesthetic concerns.
“We are alarmed that the Forest Service did not consider the fence’s negative impacts to the Salt River wild horses, who are protected under state law, and to the thousands of kayakers, tubers, hikers and wildlife viewers, who enjoy this beautiful area of the Tonto National Forest,” said Simone Netherlands, President of the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group. “We call on the Forest Service to suspend construction immediately and explore alternatives.”
The group is also concerned about Forest Service fencing along Bush Hwy. While SRWHMG shares the goal of keeping horses out of the roadway, the current fencing, once closed, will cut off horses from the entire south side of Bush Hwy, almost half of their historic habitat. This will result in a severe concentration of horses exactly where the most people are, putting people and horses on a course to collision, making future wild horse removals highly likely. SRWHMG has advocated for a wildlife overpass over Bush Hwy as a solution, but this is NOT currently included in the fencing plan. WE NEED AN OVERPASS.
“We believe that cutting the Salt River wild horses off of half of their historic habitat and building fences to keep them away from the river is not consistent with the state law that protects the Salt River wild horses, which mandates that they be protected ‘where they have historically lived,’” Netherlands concluded.
Today, SRWHMG, with its national coalition partner the American Wild Horse Campaign, are launching a Week of Action to Save the #SaltRiverHorses to protest the fence and weigh in on the Arizona Department of Agriculture’s pending decision on a permanent management plan for the horses.
To stay updated please click “see first” on our Facebook page so that you will see our action alerts! Please stay tuned.