PHOENIX (AP) - The Tonto National Forest will permanently drop plans to round up and remove wild horses near Salt River after months of public pressure and backlash.
The Forest Service delayed its original plans to remove nearly 100 of the free-roaming horses in August. Tonto National Forest Spokeswoman Carrie Templin says removal would have started Dec. 18, but the Forest Service officially withdrew its impound notice Friday.
According to Templin, the service hopes to focus instead on creating a long-term management plan.
Salt River Wild Horse Management Group Simone Netherlands says she's grateful that a decision was made before the holidays.
Her group had been trying to establish a humane management plan for that didn't include removing animals and she says the conversations will continue.