August 12, 2015

Dear Senators Flake and McCain; Congressmen Franks, Gallego, Gosar, Grijalva, Salmon and Schweikert; and Congresswomen Kirkpatrick, McSally and Sinema:

For 90 years, Arizona Highways has celebrated the beauty of our state, and so much of that coverage has been from our wild places — the forests, rivers, lakes, deserts and canyons that cut across our landscape and provide the geographical and biological diversity that makes Arizona one of the most incredible states in the country.

But we're afraid.

With greater and greater frequency, we see threats to our public lands and wild spaces — the proposed development of the Grand Canyon, the mining of sacred spaces and, with the U.S. Forest Service’s recent announcement about roundup plans for the wild horses of the Salt River, the removal of wild, free, peaceful animals from their rightful range.

There are more threats, epidemic threats.

Just as so many of Arizona’s citizens have in the past week, Arizona Highways implores the Forest Service and you, our representatives, to be the stewards of the land that you are charged by duty to be. That means being stewards of the wild horses that roam the Tonto National Forest along the Salt River. Please hear the voices of the people who have joined the movement to protect these iconic Arizona animals and work with experts to devise a comprehensive, humane management plan for the Salt River horses.

You have a chance to halt the epidemic. Protect Arizona’s wild spaces by protecting the wild things in them.

Please listen to the people of Arizona so they and generations after them will have something left — a wild space where their own wild hearts, minds and spirits can go to run.


The editorial staff of Arizona Highways magazine