Interesting read in the White Mountain Independent newspaper about the dire situation the Alpine wild horses are in at the moment. In the first part of the article you can read about every excuse in the book of the Forest Service, and hunting/ranching/enviro interests.
We will prove that they are just excuses and not honest goodwill. Note that when they talk, they leave out how many animals they are actually talking about. In this area of the Apache Forest, there are approximately 7000 elk, 1000 deer, 200 bighorn sheep and 1000 cow calf pairs, so 9200 other grazing animals versus 400 historically important wild horses.
So knowing that, let’s read their statements again. They clearly state that these numbers are okay, because these animals are managed. Hmmm, is that very good management then? A 1000 brought in cow calf pairs are okay, even while they are not native and affect the environment much worse than any other animal. Management, (but without parameters), so that’s the part that makes it all okay?
By the way, 1000 cow calf pairs are actually 2000 cows, because calves poop and eat grass too. The cattle make the banks of the streams look like mashed potatoes with their split hooves. That kind of damage is definitely not on the horses, because they have flat hooves. It’s so sad for the mice and the trout. So sad for the horses too, who have lived there for centuries; it’s their environment too that is being ruined by the cattle.
The cows are subsidized by your taxpayer dollars. And there’s an argument claiming that their meat is to the advantage of Americans, but it’s not. With further research it was found out that their meat is actually 97% shipped abroad. So no advantage to the general American public, only a tax burden.
But let’s get back to the argument of management. On that same argument we should be able to manage the Alpine wild horses and then let them grow to at least 1000 horses right? We ask you, would that not be only fair? Oh the cows are only there half the year? Ok, no problem, we will only let them grow to 500 horses then. Problem solved!
Now everyone should be happy with that, IF all these excuses were actually real motivations for real decisions. We will control the population of the Alpine wild horses rigorously, like we do the Salt River wild horses. This should then make everything a fair balance in the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest.
Somehow, we doubt they will be happy with that though. So for us down here at the Salt River, the excuses of the Apache-Sitgreaves Forest Service are easier to see through than our dirty truck windows.
Our president is quoted in this article also and says what it boils down to:
“The Alpine wild horses will continue to grow, while the Apache Sitgreaves Forest service will continue to spend taxpayer money on removals. These removals are not humane, not popular with the public, not cost efficient and not necessary.”
There are better ways folks. Obvious ones. Cheaper ones. Sustainable ones. Responsible ones. Fair ones.