Arizona September 11, 2017
The Breathtaking Place In Arizona Where You Can Watch Wild Horses Roam
You don’t need to look far to find beautiful examples of Arizona’s wildlife. A hike through the forest and even a walk in a city mountain park will introduce you to our state’s abundant wildlife like squirrels, javelinas, foxes, and deer. But did you know you can also spot wild horses roaming through Arizona?
This growing herd of wild horses wanders the banks of the Salt River in central Arizona, leading to their given identity as the Salt River horses. They roam the area between the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Reservation, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, and into Tonto National Forest.
Photo by Kristina Bishop
On an average day, you can spot members of the herd wading through the river waters, feeding on the vegetation, and watching tourists float by on kayaks and tubes. It seems like a horse’s paradise!
Photo by Kristina Bishop
By some accounts, wild horses have been
present in Arizona for decades and may even have roots that date back to the late 1600s when Father Kino traveled through Arizona.
Photo by Katherine Roberts
It's difficult to talk about the horses without getting into local politics over use of land and animal population control. As beautiful and majestic as these creatures seem, they have been called a nuisance by ranchers and state and federal agencies.
While federal legislation passed in 1971 protecting wild horses and burros around the country, this particular set of horses aren’t protected. In 1973, Tonto National Forest claimed no wild horses were roaming its lands. Instead they were (and still are) considered unauthorized livestock. This meant that any feral horses found at a later date would not be protected and considered a nuisance competing for food sources with livestock and wildlife.
The Forest’s claims, however, go against those made by some tribal members of Salt River and Fort McDowell, who claim established groups of wild horses had been present in the area for decades. The Salt River horses also have the support of local advocacy groups and community members who don’t want to see the horses eradicated.
However, things may be looking up for the horses! On September 6,
advocates for the horses arrived at Senator Flake’s office to turn in a petition with several boxes that made up around 300,000 signatures to demonstrate community support for their protection.
A vote will take place later this month to determine the budget amount allotted to the Bureau of Land Management for population control of wild horses and burros nationwide.
Have you seen the Salt River horses roaming along the river? You can share photos on our
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If you want to read about another place to see wild animals, you will love visiting Keepers of the Wild Nature Park in Valentine on Route 66. Read more about the exotic animal nature sanctuary in
Not Many Know About This Exotic Animal Sanctuary Right Here In Arizona.