McCain & Flake postpone roundup of wild horses in Arizona

PM Salt RIver Horses McCain letter 8-5-15-horses

PM Salt RIver Horses McCain letter page 2 8-5-15-horses

Washington, D.C. (August 5, 2015) ­– U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) today sent the following letter to the U.S. Forest Service and the Arizona Department of Agriculture requesting that they postpone the roundup of horses from the Mesa Ranger District on the Tonto National Forest until there has been sufficient public engagement in the process, and that they respond to questions.

“A growing number of our constituents have expressed deep reservations about the Forest Service’s intent to gather these horses and transfer them to the Arizona Department of Agriculture,” write Senators McCain and Flake. “We request that you postpone action until there has been sufficient public engagement in the process and that you respond to our questions below.”

The full letter is here.

August 5, 2015

Mr. Neil Bosworth

Forest Supervisor

Tonto National Forest

2324 E. McDowell Rd.

Phoenix, AZ 85006

The Honorable Mark Killian

Director

Arizona Department of Agriculture

1688 W. Adams St.

Phoenix, AZ 85007

Dear Supervisor Bosworth and Director Killian:

We are writing to inquire about your plans for removing up to 100 horses from the Mesa Ranger District on the Tonto National Forest. A growing number of our constituents have expressed deep reservations about the Forest Service’s intent to gather these horses and transfer them to the Arizona Department of Agriculture. We request that you postpone action until there has been sufficient public engagement in the process and that you respond to our questions below.

Whether they are treated as feral under state law or “wild” under federal law, horses are celebrated as icons of the West. However, we understand that the Forest Service is increasingly concerned that unclaimed horses on the Mesa Ranger District present a public safety risk. The concern appears to be that as the population continues to rise, so does the likelihood for vehicle accidents involving a collision with a horse on State Highway 87, or that campers and other recreationists enjoying the Salt River could be kicked or injured.

Again, please provide us with answers to the following questions:

How many horses have been identified for impoundment and how many will remain on the District?
What will happen to the horses once they are transferred to the state?
How would you ensure that a roundup will be humane for the horses?
Where did these horses likely originate and how long have they been on the District?
Has the Forest Service explored entering into a management arrangement with horse advocates? If so, what elements of an agreement would the Tonto National Forest require and generally support? Would this agreement apply only to the horses on the District?
Does the Tonto National Forest have the authority to enter into a management agreement for these horses beyond the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971?
A timely response to this request is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

John McCain

Jeff Flake

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Protect Mustangs wants to especially thank Senator McCain and Senator Flake as well as Victoria McCullough for coming to the rescue of the Salt River Wild Horses.

Please visit the Salt River Wild Horses on Facebook to sign up for updates here: https://www.facebook.com/SaltRiverWildHorses

4 thoughts on “McCain & Flake postpone roundup of wild horses in Arizona

  1. Interesting, since they were the ones who alledgedly opened the Sunflower grazing allotments back up. Public outcry isn’t a good thing when you want to run for President.

  2. Please let our wild mustang live, and remain where they are.The mustang are our history,an icon of the American people and should be respected and left to live a free life.I stand for our Mustangs and every one should,compassion and respect takes a stronger person then one that destroyed.

  3. Please stop killing and rounding up horses. They have a right to be here too. Biodiversity is very important for the health of the planet. Thank you for hearing our requests.

  4. This PUBLIC land was opened up to ranchers without regard for the environment or wildlife that has called it home. Now that people have been allowed to barb wire fence it, harness it’s water for thier own profit , Now it’s true residents , the mustangs, are to be destroyed & auctioned off? This is a crime.Our Mustangs are OUR national treasure, and should be protected in THIER own home range. Please leave these mustangs alone and let them run free in thier home. Nothing else is humane.

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