Synopsis of today’s meeting at the Apache Sitgreaves Forest Service in Springerville.
Our meeting was with the Forest Supervisor, the Deputy Forest Supervisor, the district ranger for the Alpine ranger district, and three staff persons. On our side, it was Simone Netherlands, Karen Carney, Steve Bloch, and Suzanne Roy, director of the American Wild Horse Campaign. (AWHC)
We felt it was a positive meeting in which we discussed potential avenues for collaboration. We had a chance to get important questions answered and they asked questions about our programs and capabilities as well.
They expressed what appeared a sincere interest in working with us on both the Alpine wild horses and the Heber wild horses. To us, what that would look like is SRWHMG and AWHC and other advocates to facilitate good homes for a certain number of horses removed, in order to use fertility control on a number of others.
We also delivered the message loud and clear that we strongly oppose and would be very upset if the FS proceeds with the plan to take the captured wild horses to the Holbrook auction. If they do, there is no way to guarantee that these wild horses won’t be sold for slaughter, something most Americans strongly oppose.
We suggested that any auction be held at one of the local barns here in Alpine in which case we could post each horse and family relations online as well.
We did not immediately get the assurances we were looking for, therefore, we remain concerned, but also cautiously optimistic.
We concluded the meeting with commitments to follow up in writing about the details of how our groups can assist the FS with the humane treatment of the Alpine wild horses.
We are going out tomorrow with PAO Jeffrey Todd, to explore the area where most of the horses are as well as look at the environmental areas of concern.
Picture 1. The SRWHMG team today.
Picture 2. Previously PAO Jeffrey and Deputy PAO Jullianne came to visit us at the Salt River.
We highly appreciated this sincere effort and goodwill by the Forest Service. We also highly appreciate all calls from concerned citizens from around the country and we appreciate all of the amazing local people here in Alpine!
Sincerely, goodnight. SRWHMG.