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U.S. Forest Service planning feral horse removals in eastern Arizona

Kyle Hendrix/Bureau of Land Management

U.S. Forest Service officials say they’re going ahead with the removals of about 20 feral horses on the Apache National Forest in eastern Arizona.

According to the agency, the relocation of the horses is necessary and the animals threaten native plants and outcompete wild animals for resources.

Officials also say the horses damage watersheds and ecosystems and put several federally listed threatened species at risk.

According to the Forest Service, the agency and its contractors will gather the animals using passive trapping techniques and don’t yet plan to use helicopters.

After the horses are removed, a sale notice will be posted for five days to allow people to claim any owned animals and others will be sold in the coming weeks.