Springerville, AZ, March 21st, 2022- The USDA Forest Service continues to plan for the necessary removal of up to 20 unauthorized livestock, commonly referred to as feral horses, on the Apache National Forest. The decision is a necessary step to ensure that the Apache National Forest is healthy and sustainable for years to come. These feral horses cause substantial problems for not only native plants and animals, which are being outcompeted for resources, but they also destroyed watersheds and negatively impact ecosystems. They also pose an imminent threat to several federally listed and threatened species.
The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest are working closely with a wide range of partners to safely address this problem before further unnecessary destruction is caused. These horses are feral and there are risks associated with gathering and removing animals. The Forest Service and contractors will take every precaution possible to maintain the safety, health, and well-being of all people and animals involved. These animals will be gathered using passive trapping techniques. Active gathering, which uses helicopters and physically moving animals, will not be used at this time.
The Forest Service is committed to transparency during the entirety of this process. A sale notice will be published in the newspaper of record, and posted at country court houses and post offices for 5-days, for the people to claim owned animal(s). The Forest Service has been working with partners, ranchers, and animal rescues to find holding facilities where these horses can be sold in person or online in the next few weeks. The dates of the sale are to be determined and will be posted on our Forest Website. We encourage individuals interested in buying these horses for personal use to attend future sales.