A 2007 article in the Pioneer newspaper stated that "Ranchers generally maintain all horses, not in the designated Heber Territory" with the knowledge of the Forest Service.
Apparently prior to 1990 the ranchers were judge and jury, and with the blessings of the Forest Service they removed as many of the wild horses as they could catch and sent them to a fate unknown. There was never any accountability. Is that why even today the ranchers think they should be able to call all the shots when it comes to OUR wild horses? Is this still a policy in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests? According to Forest Service numbers the Heber wild horse herd has significantly dwindled in size over the years.
All parties involved in removing the horses completely disregarded the WILD FREE-ROAMING HORSES AND BURROS ACT OF 1971
(PUBLIC LAW 92-195)
To require the protection, management, and control of wild free- roaming horses and burros on public lands. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Congress finds and declares that wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West; that they contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people; and that these horses and burros are fast disappearing from the American scene. It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.