Havasupai Falls, Arizona – As originally reported on June 7, the horses used for packing tourists and gear up and down the 20 mile round trip journey into and out of the canyon are being systematically abused and neglected. REI, and other tour companies, hire horses that are abused, lame, emaciated and dying to haul tourist gear into and out of the canyon. Hundreds of tourists over the years have photographed horses limping, open wounds, starved, and beaten until they literally drop dead along the trail.
Now, the tribe has started making changes thanks to hard work of the SAVE Foundation. “A tribe animal control officer says she has paid someone to fill the 300 gallon water trough at the top of the trailhead into the canyon for the next three months,” said Susan Ash of SAVE. “She has also given SAVE and other groups permission to bring hay and even more water.”
The tribe recently announced that it was suspending third-party companies, such as REI and Pygmy, from renting pack animals to carry gear to the bottom of the canyon. “The Tribal Council is doing this in order to preserve the campground and trails for the betterment of the tribe and the thousands of tourists that visit Havasupai Falls each year. The new regulations, among other things, will address group size, permit fees and private pack-animal reservations that will ultimately require all reservations to be made and conformed through the tourism office,” said Don E. Watahomigie, chairman of the Havasupai Tribe. There is no word on how long the third-party ban will be in effect.
Author: Dale Williams <-- Become my friend on Facebook! - Phone: 724-964-6773
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