It sounds cliché but it really was...the calm before the storm. Shortly after the 2008 Scoping Summary was released things got quiet. Time passed with no new chatter about the Heber Wild Horse Territory management plan or roundups. The ones of us who loved the horses allowed ourselves to enjoy them and their rightful home while the danger that had been stalking them was temporarily pushed to the back of our minds.
After pondering opening a Facebook page for the Heber Wild Horses for several years the leap to actually do so was finally made on June 29, 2014. Up until then there were no Facebook pages for this relatively unknown herd. It was time for them to have their page. As with so many pages on Facebook about various things it was predominantly going to be a page to bring about awareness of something that was dear to our hearts. A place to share photos and stories of the wild horses we loved. But always in the back of our minds was the thought that it would be a place to rally supporters “just in case” the Forest Service decided to once again go after the herd. We heard it was a lack of funding that put the management plan project “ON HOLD”. We knew it was possible that the funding situation could change at any time.
It wasn’t long after the Heber Wild Horses Facebook page was opened that we discovered in an April 2014 Arizona Game and Fish Dept. Lands Update that the storm that had once loomed on the horizon was already moving in. The Lands Update stated, “The A-S [Apache-Sitgreaves] had restarted work on the Heber Wild Horse Territory Environmental Impact Statement after a five year delay.”
One of the Heber wild ones. Photo taken in 2014.