Heber Wild Horse Territory: TIMELINE

  Horses Running


Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burro Act signed into law by President Nixon.


Initial census of 7 horses on the Territory.   


Ninth Report to Congress providing census information from 1974-1992.


Rodeo-Chediski Fire burned 468,638 acres, and approximately 70% of the Territory. The fire destroyed approximately 23 miles of boundary fence and 11 miles of interior fences; large numbers of horses began to appear on Forest lands.


Forest Service proposed removal of 300-400 horses. Court injunction stopped the gather.


ASNFs start the NEPA process for development of the management plan.


Litigation from 2005 injunction settled with Stipulation Agreement.


Forest Service change in work priorities stopped the planning process for development of the HWHT management plan.


Forest Service entered into a new contract for development and completion of planning for HWHT management plan.


Aerial survey in May shows 18 horses in HWHT and another 184 on adjacent ASNFs lands.


Aerial survey in February shows 16 horses in HWHT and 201 on adjacent ASNFs lands.


Ethnographic interviews conducted. Southwest Decision Resources contracted to develop a collaborative process and facilitate. Appeal resolution with administrative changes to Forest Land Management Plan. Collaborative process development.


Aerial surveys in April show 27 horses in HWHT and 272 on adjacent ASNFs lands.  Ethnographic study completed. Agreement with Arizona State University to convene the collaborative. Working Group interviews conducted and members selected. Project websites created. Arizona Game and Fish Department and Arizona Department of Agriculture confirmed as cooperating agencies. Collaborative working group meetings commenced in August.


Collaborative working group discussed key issues including forage and ecosystem health, horse populations and management. The collaborative group completed their work and provided input to the Forest Service for consideration in development of the proposed action for the management plan. The FS Heber Wild Horse Territory interdisciplinary team conducted additional field studies of landscape conditions within the territory. The FS interdisciplinary team began development of the draft proposed action.


The draft proposed action in development and internal review.  The first formal public comment period of the draft proposed action is scheduled for 2020.