Because of the recent rains we have ended the feed program for the Salt River wild horses. The feed program was a hardship for our organization, but it prevented hardship and starvation of the horses. It got them through the long-lasting drought in Arizona.
Therefore the abundant eelgrass in the river is currently the main resource for the horses and a real blessing. You can see them feasting on it, and photographers love to post the beautiful pictures of it on our our community page called : Salt River Wild Horses – Advocates.
When you look down at the desert ground however, you can tell that the landgrasses are not doing as well and did not come through the periods of heat between the rains, like we had hoped. (except in the more mountainous northern region.) Once the good grass shrivels and dies, it unfortunately does not come back.
Because the horses are now relying so heavily on the eelgrasses, we have trepedation of what will happen when SRP turns the Salt River below 100 CFS (Cubic Feet per Second) again soon.
SRP does this every winter when they switch the river systems from one dam to the other. While the minimum output of the Verde River is 100 CFS for environmental reasons, there is no such minimum for the lower Salt, basically because no one has advocated for it. At 8 CFS, the Salt River dries up to only a trickle, and every year we have to watch thousands of fish and tadpoles die together with the precious eelgrass the horses love so much. Fisherman and other recreationalists really hate that also and so do the willows and cottonwoods along the river.
We have had meetings with the SRP board including their president, about our concerns. What came out of those meetings was a promise that they would do a 6 month research study, to see if it was possible to level some of the higher output with the extreme low output of just 8 CFS. Unfortunately we have not heard back what the outcome was, and it may just have been an easy way to get us to forget about the issue..
But we have not forgotten, and we think that with the SRP commercials of how much they care about the environment, that they should actually show some goodwill towards the environment and ecosystem of the lower Salt River.
Last year, the river was at 8 CFS only for a very short period of time, approximately 2 weeks. However, this was enough to turn the eelgrass into a rotting and very stinky mess. We see this as a tragedy for the horses and we might have to start the feedprogram again because of it. It takes the eelgrass all of the following spring and summer to grow back again.
It is our sincere hope that SRP will honor their reputation and keep the Salt River at a minimum of 100 CFS this winter. It may take a bit more preplanning of outflows, but we believe the benefits to the Salt River and all of its nature and inhabitants will outway this extra effort. The community as well as the Salt River wild horses will be gratefull.
As you know, we always stay polite and respectful in our requests and protections for the Salt River wild horses, and our true supporters have the same attitude. However, we will not hesitate in our activism for the sake of progress and highly needed improvements of their home and circumstances.
So we need your help in spreading this polite but urgent request to SRP.
Heres how you can help! Please do the following real quick:
- Copy this poster and post it
- To your own wall with tags #srpconnect #srp
- Post it as a comment on SRP’s Facebook page and Twitter and Instagram and Yelp and Google and wherever else you think will be effective. Click here for Facebook page.
- Write an email to them and send it to:
SRP corporate secretary: John.Felty@srpnet.com
- Ask him to forward your request for 100CFS minimum, to the entire board of directors.
- Make a phonecall this week to the corporate secretary (602) 236-4398 and explain that you are an SRP customer and explain the issue. Keep it short and polite but don’t forget to ask to forward your concerns to the entire board.
You can also Tag your posts on Twitter and Instagram with the boardmembers of SRP: @coreyhawkey4az, @jrhoopessrp, @dxrousseau, @keithforsrp, @NickBrownAZ, and @PaulRovey
Together, we know we can make all the difference.