Currently the US Forest Service is in the process of either approving or denying cattle grazing in the Salt River drainage. Public comments from rafters and kayakers are much needed right now and will make a significant impact on the decision-making process.
Send comments to: [email protected]
Here's what you can include in your comment(s):
1) Ranchers currently have 300,000 acres of grazing allotments on the Tonto National Forest. As river sports enthusiasts, we are asking for a mere 10,000 acres to set aside for pristine wilderness along the Salt River!
2) The economic impact of cattle grazing is infinitesimal compared to that of river rafting and kayaking in the region. All we're asking for is that ranchers give up 3% of their land for wilderness.
3) The ecosystem along the Salt is adapted to browsing animals such as deer, NOT cattle. It is likely that native grasses will be over-grazed, leading to degradation of the native ecosystem.
4) As raft guides and kayakers we know grazing will negatively impact our business and experience. This is what happened several years ago when cattle were allowed to graze along the Salt.
5) We do not want cow patties and cows trampling over our campsites.
6) The habitat of the federally-endangered Willow Flycatcher will be compromised due to over-grazing.
7) Ranchers pay only $1 per month to the federal government to graze on public land!
Please pass this on, and thanks for your help in protecting the beautiful Salt River!!