Forest Service in Arizona to leave wild horses at Salt River

Dec 11, 2015, 9:16 AM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 11:01 am
(Facebook Photo)...
(Facebook Photo)
(Facebook Photo)

PHOENIX — A group that has been fighting to save the wild horses along the Salt River said the U.S. Forest Service has ended its effort to round up and remove the animals from the Tonto National Forest.

The Salt River Wild Horse Management Group posted the news to social media Thursday night.

The forest service had planned to remove nearly 100 of the horses in August but vague references to what would happen to the horses afterward led to two weeks of public outcry.

The commotion caused the department to delay a decision.

The withdrawal of the notice went into effect Friday.

“We are grateful for this important step and will continue to do everything in our power to work with the Forest Service and other authorities towards the good of the Tonto National Forest,” Salt River Wild Horse Management Group president Simone Netherlands said in a statement.

Notice of the roundup first went out in July. Forest spokeswoman Carrie Templin said removal would have started Dec. 18.

According to the Facebook post, U.S. Rep Matt Salmon (R-Arizona) and the rest of the Arizona House delegation sent a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture requesting humane alternatives.

Salmon said in a statement, “I’m happy to see that the Forest Service is respecting both the horses that define Arizona and the will of the Arizonans who love them.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Forest Service in Arizona to leave wild horses at Salt River