Less than a week after the 2005 Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) was issued to prevent the roundup of Heber wild horses the Forest Service was doubling down on their intent to remove the horses from the Sitgreaves.
Forest ecosystems staff officer Deb Bumpus made the following statement:
“That [TRO] will keep us from both awarding the contract and proceeding with any gathering activities until we’ve had time to sit down and negotiate how to work through this.”
Forest Supervisor Eileen Zieroth said, “We don’t consider them wild horses; they’re stray horses.” She went on to say, “If some or all of the horses end up being sold, the best way to keep them from being slaughtered is for horse lovers to purchase them and give them good homes. There’s always the potential that if they are sold at a public auction they could be bought for slaughter, but if groups are real concerned they can come and buy the horses. We have to recoup our costs. We can’t give away horses. We can’t put them up for adoption.”