Scenic photo: Wild horses in Bulldog Canyon

Wild horses in Bulldog Canyon north of Apache Junction, Apache Junction photographer Robert Langen said in an e-mail. The Independent encourages residents to submit their favorite scenic or wildlife photos taken within the community, with a short description of the shot, for publication with photo credit. Do not use a filter on submitted photos. Send […]

Hold your horses: Planned Tonto Forest roundup delayed to September

The U.S. Forest Service said on Thursday, Aug. 6, it has put a planned roundup of up to 100 horses in the Tonto National Forest on hold until September, when Congress returns from recess.

“We’ve decided to take another look at the proposed gathering of stray horses,” Tonto National Forest Supervisor Neil Bosworth said in a prepared statement Thursday.

Bosworth said the service would not take any action with the horses “before Congress went back into session in September,” according to Carrie Templin, a spokeswoman for the forest.

The decision follows a public outcry – including concerns raised by nearly all of Arizona’s congressional delegation – over the July 31 announcement that the Forest Service planned to round up “stray” horses in the national forest.

Wild horses to be removed from Salt River; conservationists furious

The famous Salt River herd of wild horses could soon be no more if the government gets its way, and horse conservationists are furious.

The Tonto National Forest has placed a Friday (Aug. 7) deadline on letting people claim any stray horses from the wild herd. After that, Forest Service officials will round up the wild horses and remove them from the national forest land.

Advocates said wild horses have roamed the Arizona desert since Spanish Conquistadors brought missionaries to Arizona some 400 years ago. According to the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group, there are 500 wild horses across the state, down from 500,000 some 100 years ago.

Depending on whom you ask, between 65 and 100 of those wild horses run free up and down the Salt River.

“This is probably the most popular wild horse herd in the country,” said Simone Netherlands, president of the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group. “People come from miles, nationally and internationally, to see this herd because they have learned to be peaceful and tolerant of people.