Arizona Capitol Times
Forest Service- Other
December 11, 2015
PUBLIC NOTICE RESCINDMENT OF NOTICE OF UNAUTHORIZED LIVESTOCK AND INTENT TO IMPOUND On July 31, 2015, the United States Forest Service published in the Arizona Capitol Times a Notice of Unauthorized Livestock and Intent to Impound, pursuant to Regulation of the Secretary of Agriculture, 36 CFR 262.10, notifying the public that unauthorized livestock, specifically any unauthorized horses, found upon National Forest System Lands within the boundaries of the Mesa Ranger District, Tonto National Forest, may be impounded by the United States Forest Service on or after August 7, 2015. On August 18, 2015, the Forest Service announced that it would not take any action associated with the aforementioned impound notice for at least 120 days to allow the Forest Service to work with interested parties to find a solution to address the unauthorized horses. Because the Forest Service is continuing to engage with the local community and state and federal officials to explore potential alternatives with respect to unauthorized horses found in the Mesa Ranger District on the Tonto National Forest and to avoid continued public confusion resulting from the aforementioned notice, the Forest Service has decided at this time to rescind the impound notice published on July 31, 2015. If in the future the Forest Service determines that it may impound unauthorized horses found upon National Forest System Lands within the boundaries of the Mesa Ranger District, it will provide public notice pursuant to 36 CFR 262.10. 12/11, 2015 edition Arizona Capitol Times
We feel a word of caution is needed here. While we are all elated by this announcement, please note Forest Service does NOT state the horses will definitely remain in their present location. While they did rescind the notice of intent to impound, they also state they are exploring "potential alternatives" and still refer to these horses as "unauthorized horses". They also leave open the possibility of impounding them in the future. So we feel at this point cautious optimism is warranted.