Phoenix – August 6, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema sent a letter to United States Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell about the Forest Service’s Notice of Intent to round up and impound horses on the Mesa Ranger District of the Tonto National Forest.
“It is the responsibility of the Service to objectively consider all options that allow for wild horses to peacefully coexist, and that removal is not an appropriate action,” said Congresswoman Sinema in the letter. “On behalf of many of our concerned constituents and thousands of Arizonans, I respectfully request that the Notice of Intent of July 31, 2015 and any subsequent action be withdrawn until alternate proposals have been thoughtfully and thoroughly evaluated.”
The full text of the letter is below.
August 5, 2015
The Honorable Tom Tidwell
United States Forest Service
1400 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-1111
Dear Chief Tidwell:
I write regarding a recent Notice of Intent by the U.S. Forest Service (“Service”) to impound horses on the Mesa Ranger District (“District”) of the Tonto National Forest. It is my understanding that public notice was given on July 31, 2015, and that removal of horses from the District is scheduled to begin on August 7, 2015.
I am strongly opposed to the removal of these horses, as are a large number of Arizonans who have contacted our office. I believe it is the responsibility of the Service to objectively consider all options that allow for wild horses to peacefully remain where they live. As such, I join a bipartisan group of Arizonans in respectfully asking that the Notice of Intent of July 31, 2015 and any subsequent action be withdrawn until alternate proposals have been thoughtfully and thoroughly evaluated.
As the evaluation proceeds, I also request answers to the following questions:
1. Which state and local stakeholders were consulted regarding the proposed Notice of Intent prior to publication?
2. Is there a current Wild Horse Management Plan on the Tonto National Forest? If so, has there been a public comment process to allow the community to weigh in on the management of the Salt River wild horse population?
Wild horses are a majestic, living reminder of the rugged independence unique to Arizona’s way of life. Any path forward should reasonably ensure the horses remain on the Tonto National Forest while public safety and environmental concerns are addressed through a process that engages all stakeholders.
I appreciate your attention to this matter and look forward to your response. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Michael Wong in my office at 202-225-9888 or at Michael.Wong (at) mail.house (dot) gov.