It should come as a surprise to no one who has read our previous ‘Chronicles’ that the intent of the Forest Service was to eliminate the horses and disband the Heber Wild Horse Territory. For years the Forest Service paid ranchers to round up horses with no evidence to indicate the horses were not part of the protected Heber wild horse herd. A 1991 report by the FS said the “A/S [Apache-Sitgreaves] “herd” should not be recognized at all”. Those same words were then used in correspondence by other Forest Service employees including Forest Supervisor Elaine J. Zieroth and range manager Kendall Hughes.
“From the Chronicles of the Heber Wild Horse Herd Part 5“ provided information from a March 10, 1994 memo from Forest Service District Ranger Kate Klein to a public lands rancher in the Black Mesa Ranger District. In her memo she instructed the rancher to capture and remove horses that were seen in one of the pastures. On June 21, 1993 District Ranger Klein sent a memo to Forest Supervisor John Bedell with the subject line “Territory Withdrawal Recommendation”. In the memo Klein mentions the 1991 report and how it said the Heber Wild Horse Territory should “not be recognized at all”. Klein’s final sentence of this short memo was: “I recommend it [Heber Wild Horse Territory] be removed from the records as a territory and that the animals be removed by the State Livestock Sanitary Board.”
Although the Heber Wild Horse Territory was not eliminated there are still Forest Service websites found online that list Wild Horse Territories but do not include the Heber Wild Horse Territory.
Those of you who had been in the forest years ago may remember band stallion Van Gogh.