Comments on the draft management plan will be taken until March 16, after which it will be finalized by the Forest Service, according to a report posted this morning by the White Mountain Independent of Show Low, AZ.
If the land can support a stocking rate of five wild horses per thousand acres, and the minimum herd size is 150 per Section 188.8.131.52 the Management Handbook, then the WHT should contain at least 30,000 acres, with an AML of 150.
Public-lands ranchers, referred to by some as “stewards of the forest,” would oppose any such move. They are trying to paint themselves as victims of the process, typical for government dependents.
Groups that represent them were unwilling to go on record for the article.
Some advocates say the plan is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to eradicate the herd.
One thing is for sure: Unlike the ranchers, wild horses have no friends in government.