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Diamond was born the day prior to the announcement that the government would round up the wild horses. Photo © David Stallings
The Salt River Wild Horses will continue to roam free. According to the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group, the U.S. Forest withdrew its plans to roundup freely roaming equines in the Tonto National Forest along the Salt River.
The announcement ends months of uncertainty regarding the horses’ future. Horse advocates and the public rallied with the help of Arizona politicians asking for a plan establishing long-term protection for the herd of about 100 horses.
SRWHMG president Simone Netherlands said horses like Diamond, born in August, would not have survived a round-up since he was just getting steady on his legs. The colt is now 5-months-old and living free in the wild.
In August, Forest Service officials called the equines a safety concern.
Last week, Netherlands met with Neil Bosworth, the Tonto National Forest supervisor, and received assurances that the agency is committed to working toward managing the horses humanely. “The continued freedom of these wild horse families means a great deal to the American people,” said Netherlands.
While not necessarily a permanent solution, the horses’ advocates say they are happy with the progress.
“While much work remains to be done and many details to work out, this is a very positive step toward protecting these horses, who are clearly valued by the public,” said Suzanne Roy, Director of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign. “It’s wonderful when our elected representatives and government agencies listen to the will of the people.”