Monday, January 4th 2016
In an ongoing effort to save the Heber Wild horses that reside in the Apache & Sitgreaves National Forest, an appeal by ISPMB's attorney, Anthony W. Merrill of Polisinelli Law Firm in Phoenix was filed on December 23rd. ISPMB and Mr. Merrill have been active in the Heber Case since 2005 winning a stay for the horses and requiring the FS to develop a Territory Plan for the wild horses. Joining ISPMB in this current appeal is Terra Wind Ranch Eco-Action Group headed by Jill Irvin of Chandler, AZ.
"It should be evident to the Forest Service that the people of Arizona love their wild horses. When the Salt River wild horses of the Tonto Forest were nearly removed last August it created uproar by thousands of AZ citizens," states Ms. Irwin.
Karen Sussman, president of ISPMB, asserts, "Wild horses and burros are loved by the majority of the people of our country, well over 90%. Support for wild horses/burros crosses all cultural, religious, social, and political lines." "The Heber wild horses must be preserved so future generations can enjoy these 'last living symbols of the American West.'"
Since the beginning of the Act in 1971 which should protect wild horses and burros, nearly half of the herd areas have been eliminated; while the remaining herd areas, of which 75% of them, have less than viable numbers of horses/burros. There is no overpopulation of wild horses and burros in our country. This is a fact.
There are approximately 6 million livestock, 4 million wildlife, and only 30,000 wild horses and burros. Simple math verifies there is no overpopulation.
According to Sussman, who has studied wild horse behavior and population growth for the past sixteen years in four of ISPMB's wild herds that the organization manages, low reproductive rates in wild horses are directly related to keeping the family band structures intact. This means that the governments own management has increased population growth by the constant disruption of the family bands through helicopter roundups. Stable band structures are essential to the health and well-being of wild horses and this is why the 1971 Act stated that horses must be managed with 'minimum feasible management.'
ISPMB was the organization, which along with its first president, Wild Horse Annie, was instrumental in getting the legislation passed in 1971. Otherwise, today, there would be no wild horses or burros left in our country.
Both organizations represented in the appeal are appreciative of the fine work of Mr. Anthony Merrill and his law firm. They have done an outstanding job protecting America's wild horses.
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