Did you know these wild horses narrowly escaped roundup and removal in 2015?
We, SRWHMG, rang the alarm bell and the public gave them the voice they needed. We took responsibility for their humane management at no cost to the government, so that they could stay. We hoped an all around cooperation would work, but we did not know if it would.
It’s been a long process of negotiation and forming a long term management plan, which is now finally done. The management plan was written by the Arizona Agriculture Department (AZDA) and agreed to by the Tonto National Forest and SRWHMG.
Some compromises were made by us in regards to their habitat and the size of the population, which will naturally be reduced over time through fertility control PZP. Our darting program has proven that PZP is extremely effective and safe for the mares, when you do it the right way and the authorities now trust this very humane method.
Automatic watertroughs are provided by us in the safest place in the northern quadrant, in order to make all of their habitat equally usable, and to take pressure off of the Salt River riparian area to preserve habitat and forage for other wild animals.
A wild horse welcome center is in the plan and a wildlife crossing bridge at Coon Bluff is being planned as well to give them some more grazing habitat back.
The public comes from all over the US to get a glimpse of these cherished wild horses. They are an important recreational resource as well as a historic treasure to behold by future generations. However, if you can believe it, there is still opposition, and doing the right thing for the horses and for the public continues to be a never ending battle.
The Salt River wild horses however, now have a legal right to live on 20,000 acres of beautiful habitat that includes the Salt River and this spectacular scenery. Their habitat is (almost) entirely enclosed and issues of horses on the road are no longer a daily problem for drivers and for our volunteers.
Salt River wild horses are protected by the State of Arizona under ARS 3-1491. It is illegal to kill, injure or harass them or interfere with their lives. Approaching them closer than 50 ft can cause interference with their daily lives, which is why we ask please maintain a 50 ft distance from them at all times, for their safety and yours.
We first want to thank the public of Arizona (and around the world as well) for their financial and undying support for our processes behind the scenes as well as for respecting the horses.
We second want to thank the Tonto National Forest for understanding what the public wants, even while sadly, there is still a lot of opposition against wild horses. Last but not least we want to thank the AZDA, (the Arizona Department of Agriculture) for working closely with our president Simone Netherlands and our group of hardworking volunteers to always resolve each and every emergency, obstacle and difficult decision and for finalizing the long term management plan.
While many of you may have thought that this herd was safe from removals it was not. It’s been a long road to get here and we’ve stood up for the horses every step of the way, while also hearing the other side from ranchers, hunters and environmentalists.\
We have always said that there are better ways than the endless, cruel and unsustainable roundups. Fortunately, with the help of the public, we’ve been able to put our money where our mouth has been. There is now a signed long term management plan for the Salt River wild horses and it means they get to live happily ever after with no removals.
This is absolutely a victory for the public of America who’s voice needs to be heard more often on the subject of wild horses, because after all, these are not special interest lands, these are not lands for profit, – these are our public lands for the enrichment of all Americans.
To support humane wild horse management please go to our website posted in the comments.
Please enjoy the absolutely spectacular Salt River wild horses in the beautiful Tonto National Forest. Thank you everyone.
Yours truly, SRWHMG.