Do you remember the stallion who saved the filly in the river when she got in over her head? He pulled her to safety and the feat was recorded by a nearby human, Becky Standridge. In case you missed it, here is the blog about it.
BAD NEWS FOR CHAMP AND HIS HERD – MEAT.
Well, as with most of the wild mustangs out there, their time has come to be rounded up –
Except this time it is worse because Champ’s herd is not classified as ‘wild’ so they are not protected under any laws.
They are classified as ‘feral’.
Feral means that they can be rounded up and sold for meat.
No one would ever know… the horses would be gathered and ‘poof’ – gone.
Fortunately, some individuals are very persistent and under the Freedom of Information Act, they have found out that Champ’s herd is headed down the path of no return.
How can Humans do away with this herd of horses? Obviously this herd (and every herd) loves and cares for one another – which is the only way I know how to express what I saw in those photos. Why are they not worth sharing the land? They aren’t starving and no humans live there…
I’m just sick about this.
If so, take the time and make the call, write the email and send the letter.
I know, I know – no one has time anymore.
But this time, money isn’t what they need.
They need voices. They need humans to take the time to write and call and send.
Here is the story… straight from Becky who asked me if HORSE AND MAN readers could help Champ and his herd.
THEIR PLIGHT – WHAT HUMANS ARE DECIDING…
Press Release: For immediate release
Contact: Patricia Haight, Ph.D. (480) 593-4491
Becky Standridge: (480) 620-4490
PEOPLE ASKED TO HELP PREVENT REMOVAL & POSSIBLE SALE TO SLAUGHTER OF ARIZONA WILD HORSES WHOSE HISTORY TRACES TO 17TH CENTURY
DOCUMENTS OBTAINED UNDER FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT (FOIA) INDICATE THAT THE US FOREST SERVICE MAY REMOVE HORSES FROM THE TONTO NATIONAL FOREST WITHOUT A PERIOD FOR PUBLIC COMMENT OR AN ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STUDY
(Phoenix, AZ, June 2, 2012). The Conquistador Equine Rescue and Advocacy Program (CERAP), a 501c3 equine rescue and advocacy charity, has received material under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) indicating that the United States Forest Service (USFS) may be considering the imminent removal of unbranded, free-roaming wild horses living along the Salt River on the Tonto National Forest (TNF) near metropolitan Phoenix in Arizona.
Among these horses is the world famous Champ, the amazing stallion that saved a filly from drowning. His video can be viewed at the link below: http://www.azcentral.com/12news/news/articles/2012/04/05/20120405arizona-wild-horse-rescue.html
Becky Standridge observes the horses regularly and reports that she has not seen Champ and his family for several weeks. A stallion belonging to Champ’s band was found shot to death. This video can be viewed at the link below:
Standridge who has spoken with the USFS indicates that the USFS has disregarded her request for an investigation of the shooting because the USFS does not acknowledge that the horses are wild calling them “feral” or “trespass” horses. Therefore the agency does not take responsibility for managing them under the 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act.
Documents received under FOIA also support that the TNF does not acknowledge that the horses are wild and thus protected under the 1971 Act. Asserting the horses are not unclaimed, unbranded free-roaming horses as defined under the Act, the TNF considers them “trespassing” on USFS land and may remove all of them. It is possible that the horses would be taken to the Pacific Livestock Auction near Phoenix where they are at great risk of being purchased by killer buyers to sell for slaughter. FOIA material demonstrates that officials of the TNF have had horses removed before without any public comment period or study under the National Environmental Protection Act, a requirement for removal of wild horses on USFS land. In one case, forest officials admitted in emails that five horses gathered from the Cave Creek ranger district probably were not “trespass” or “feral.” The horses were sent to the Pacific Livestock Auction. CERAP was able to rescue the one foal with the herd of a stallion and his mares.
The origin of the Salt River Wild Horses can be found in historical documents that indicate the Spanish Missionary, Father Eusebio Kino, brought horses and other animals to the area in the 17th century. History also indicates that some additional horses came Conquistadors sent by Kino that arrived to help the Pima fight attacks from the Apache Indians. These wild horses have lived on the property that is now the Tonto National Forest before it was designated a National Forest. Witnesses have provided oral histories indicating the Salt River wild horses have been seen and photographed for decades in the TNF. One such photograph was printed in a 1957 issue of Arizona Highways. While the TNF claims the horses are “trespass horses” from the bordering Salt River-Pima Maricopa Community (SRPMIC) and the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, to the best of CERAP’s knowledge, the tribes have NOT claimed the horses.
CERAP, working together with community members, is asking people to immediately telephone their United States Representative, both of their United States Senators, the Forest Supervisor for the Tonto National Forest and the Regional Director for Rangeland Management to tell them they do not want the horses of the Salt River in the Tonto National Forest removed. These horses are unbranded, unclaimed, free-roaming wild horses who are our living symbol of America’s freedom and the West. The horses are an indispensible part of our United States and Arizona history which must be protected so all future generations will have the privilege to be inspired and enjoy their beauty.
WHAT YOU CAN DO – NOW! TODAY IS A GOOD DAY FOR THIS…
Who to contact: Please call your US Congressman and your US Senators to politely request they express their disapproval of the gathering and removal of the horses that live along the Salt River in the Tonto National Forest. To find contact information for US Congressmen and US Senators by State, by name, or by zip code, go to the link below (this URL is case sensitive and should be entered with a capital ‘C’ on Contact and a capital ‘E’ for Elected):
Dave Stewart, Regional Director of Rangeland Management
Address: 333 Broadway Blvd SE, Albuquerque, NM 87102-3407
HOW WE CAN HELP TOMORROW…
If we are successful in temporarily halting the progress of this obliterating action, I will make a Bucket Fund for their legal representation. Hopefully, we will have the chance to help them financially… Hopefully, they will live long enough.
Ironic, isn’t it. Champ saved the filly from Mother Nature’s rising river, but he cannot save her from his worst natural disaster… humans.
PLEASE TAKE THE FEW MINUTES TO GIVE A VOICE TO THIS DESERVING FAMILY OF HORSES.
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