Arizona Officials, Feds Sign Agreement Implementing Salt River Horse Protection Law

Published: Friday, December 29, 2017 - 1:51pm
Updated: Friday, December 29, 2017 - 3:31pm
(Photo by Rick Grybos - CC BY 2.0)
Wild horses in Arizona.

The Arizona Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Forest Service signed an agreement Thursday to move forward on protecting the Salt River horse herd.

The governor signed a law protecting the herd in 2016 after a Forest Service plan to round the wild horses up and sell them provoked backlash.

The latest agreement is the first step to putting the law in place, said Tonto National Forest spokeswoman Carrie Templin.

“Now that the state and federal government have signed the agreement we can work with horse groups and other interested members of the public on how we move forward with managing this band of horses,” she said.

The agreement says fences could be built to keep the horses safe, that the state will employ a Salt River Horse liaison and could create a birth control program to control the horse population.

“That was the first step. Now we’ve got to start doing the hard and heavy lifting of sitting down and meeting with everybody and seeing what that looks like moving forward,” Templin said.

The University of Arizona is working with the Forest Service to study how many horses can live in the Salt River area and be sustainable.   

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