So we are posting this video for educational purposes and we will explain why. (note: This clip falls within legal rights of filming people on public lands.)
Salt River wild horses are protected by State law and have a legal right to live in this 20,000 acre habitat. This is not a very large habitat for wild horses and they have had to learn to put up with millions of people who visit this popular area. (millions is not exaggerated).
On this day several photographers and a couple of tourists were watching this band of horses from the banks of the river when this occurred. Photographer Drew Hastings was also trying to shoot some peaceful footage that day and got this instead.
Watching these horses just “be” wild and free, provides solice and peace to many people who come here just for that. This is called eco-tourism and it provides millions of dollars to our local economy. The watching of wild horses can be done in many ways, from a kayak, tube or paddleboard, by hiking, biking, or from horseback. But it has to be done with the well-being of the horses kept in mind and the law that protects them does state that harassing Salt River horses is punishable. (Noted, most visitors to the Tonto National Forest are very respectful to the horses and the horses are respectful to people as well.
But what defines harrassment, that is currently still the question with the authorities and within the long term management plan of the horses. There will ofcourse be many occasions where it is not a clear cut scenario. This question is why we are posting this video without our opinion. If you have an opinion, we ask that you try to explain it by good reasoning. What does harrassment mean to you. Please keep it respectful.
Thank you, SRWHMG.