A working group, chartered by Arizona State University, has created a blueprint for managing the 19,700 acre Heber Wild Horse Territory, according to a report that appeared today in the White Mountain Independent of Show Low, AZ.
The proposal, assembled by a diverse group of citizens under the guidance of professional facilitators, will be reviewed by the Forest Service.
A management plan was mandated in 2007 when the WHT was established. The goal is to balance the needs of horses, livestock and wildlife relative to the available resources.
Approximately 300 wild horses live in the territory, for a population density of 15 animals per thousand acres. That figure differs appreciably from the typical one animal per thousand acres on HMAs, many of which lie in the Great Basin.
The article did not indicate how many cattle are allowed in the WHT.
“There is also perception that ranchers don’t want any horses on the landscape because of alleged overgrazing from horses that impacts cattle forage abundance, water, etc.”
It’s not a perception, it’s the truth.
Things may turn out well for the horses if the stakeholders and regulatory agencies remember that’s it’s a HORSE TERRITORY not a cow territory.