Heber Wild Horse Territory

 

Horses Horses Horses Horses Horses Horses Horses

 

NEWS RELEASES

Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests Urges Public to Report Horse Incidents

Springerville, AZ – April 16, 2019 – After receiving a report last week of a deceased horse, it was confirmed by Forest Law Enforcement to be located on forest road 51, outside of the Heber Wild Horse Territory. Law Enforcement Investigators were called to the scene, unfortunately because the Forest Service was not notified in a timely manner, the scene was contaminated and the remains were too decomposed for necropsy. The date and cause of death are unknown. There are a variety of factors that may lead to free-roaming horse deaths, which can include accidents, old age, sickness, disease, predation, and man caused (accidental and intentional).

The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests is committed to our mission to manage horses and to fully investigate their deaths when these unfortunate incidents occur.

It is important to point out that only law enforcement officers and members of their team are authorized to perform investigations. If the public encounters an injured or deceased horse they are urged to contact the Black Mesa Ranger District at 928-535-7300 to report it immediately. The public should never attempt to conduct an investigation, or collect evidence, or do anything to contaminate the scene in any way. Doing so will make any evidence collected by the public inadmissible or usable in an investigation.

Forest Service law enforcement, along with Navajo County and Coconino County Sheriff’s Offices continue to investigate the horse deaths from earlier this year. The public is asked to pass along all tips to the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office tip line at 1-800-78CRIME.

“USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.”

News Release PDF

 

Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests Continues to Investigate Horse Incidents

Springerville, AZ - Feb 11, 2019 - Over the past months, several deceased horses have been discovered in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests (ASNFs). Forest Service law enforcement and equine experts continue ongoing investigations into the deaths of these horses.


Since Oct, 2018, 16 deceased horses have been located on the ASNFs Black Mesa Ranger District. Of the 16 deceased horses, 12 were located outside of the Heber Wild Horse Territory (HWHT) near Forest Roads 144, 146, and 50. On Feb 7, 4 additional deceased horses were discovered inside of the HWHT near 300 RD.

There are a variety of factors that may lead to horse deaths, which can include accidents, natural causes, predation, and shootings. When it is determined that a horse’s death was due to a gunshot wound, the investigation can be complex, as the burden of proof must be rock solid for potential use in court. Our law enforcement officers strive to reach that burden of proof, and that is why these investigations are often lengthy and complex. At this time, our investigations appear to indicate that 10 of the deceased horses have evidence of gunshot wounds, 5 were severely decomposed and the cause of death remains undetermined, and 1 died of blunt force trauma usually associated with a motor vehicle collision.


Forest Service law enforcement is employing additional resources to help with these ongoing investigations. This includes working with both the Navajo County and Coconino County Sheriff’s Offices, deploying an additional team to conduct necropsies, utilizing drones to monitor the large area, increasing the amount of law enforcement officers in the area, and encouraging local and statewide media outlets to provide accurate information and an avenue for the public to submit any tips. We ask the public to pass along all tips to the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office tip line, 1-800-78CRIME.


The Forest Service has been in contact with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in order to quickly bring any potential perpetrators to justice. We are continuing our faceted investigation and encourage the public to provide any tips or additional information.


“USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.”

News Release PDF

 

If you would like more information on the collaborative planning process, convened by Arizona State University, please visit the website at https://heberhorsecollaborative.asu.edu



Optional Links:



https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/asnf/landmanagement/resourcemanagement/?cid=FSEPRD534229