Mission: Ensure the protection and humane management of the Salt River wild horses.
The Salt River wild horses are the beloved and majestic horses who have been roaming free along the lower Salt River in Arizona, for centuries. Arizona’s State Archives hold historic evidence of their existence in the Salt River Valley, dating all the way back to the 1800’s when they were already referred to as “native stock”. But in 2015 they were threatened with total removal.
Today, after a long battle for their freedom, the Salt River wild horses are officially protected by State law. These wild horses are the pride of this community, a favorite subject of photographers, and the icon of the wild free spirit of the American West.
Our goal is and always has been freedom, protection and humane management of this treasured historic and recreational resource. Please join us in this important mission.
With a daily presence in wild horse habitat, we monitor and keep records for each horse and record each change within the herd. Our many years of data have created a scientific perspective on their herd behavior, birth and death rates and migrating patterns.
We deal with any and all situations that involve a wild horse. We operate an emergency hotline (480-868-9301 ) and we will have our people on scene within 15 minutes of any emergent situation. When necessary, we rescue and rehabilitate suffering and injured Salt River wild horses. We currently give sanctuary to six rescued Salt River wild horses who have made amazing recoveries from fatal injuries. We are currently in an emergency feed protocol as a result of the record breaking drought. It is you the public who makes their humane management possible with your generous support.
Our work includes improving safety for both horses and the public by maintaining and repairing miles of fencing along Bush Highway and recreation areas. We have also installed new horse proof gates to keep them out of dangerous areas, while still providing access to visitors. We do all of this in coordination with the Forest Service and are thankful for their cooperation. (this picture is of our fencing team).
Removing old downed barbed wire, buckets of nails and trash is part of what our volunteers do every day on the river. It is our goal to work for the good of the Tonto National Forest, its inhabitants and visitors every day.
This battle has been about keeping a small piece of “wild” for future generations to come. We have accomplished that part; the Salt River Horse Act establishes that the Salt River wild horses are not stray livestock and makes harassing and killing them illegal. Our job now is to work with the Arizona State Agriculture Department for their humane management. Our management plan will be geared towards a stabilized and healthy population, and will include humane fertility control.
Our data over many years shows that the Salt River herd is growing approximately at 12% per year. That is not as much as is claimed by the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) for most herds, but it is still a positive growth rate and the Salt River wild horses have a limited habitat, because they are fenced in by civilization on all sides.
PZP (Porcine Zona Pelucida) immuno-contraception is the acceptable form of birth control for wild horses, as it does not harm nor influence their wild behaviors and herd dynamics. PZP has 30 years of research behind it, can be darted without capturing horses and it prevents fertilization for one year. By implementing a fertility control protocol with our certified darters, we can stabilize the population humanely. The young mares will get a chance to mature before foaling and the older mares can get a break from having babies, which improves their overall health. The upside of a stabilized and agreed upon population is that each horse born in the wild, will be able to stay in the wild.
Help us achieve their humane management and protection!
We continue to need the public’s support while we work hard towards humane management and secure the final step, a management agreement with the State of Arizona. These horses belong to all of the public of Arizona and we will prove that they can be managed humanely, by the public and for the public.
This fight is about keeping a small piece of wild for future generations to come, and managing it humanely and responsibly. The battle for their freedom touched hundreds of thousands of Arizonans and Americans deeply. We are forever grateful that this amazing herd found their voice with the public of Arizona and all of its legislators, politicians and Governor Doug Ducey.
Managing wild horses is neither easy nor cheap. We are not funded by anyone but YOU, the public. Please support us in any way you can. No amount is too small. Your tax-deductible donation helps the Salt River wild horses directly. as no one in the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group gets paid . With your support we can purchase fencing to keep horses off the roads, fund education campaigns, emergency feed protocol and our birth control protocol. It is because of people like you that we can rescue, treat and give sanctuary to suffering wild horses. Thank you for your support.
Background: When the notice came out for the herd’s roundup and removal in 2015, we were devastated. We knew that we would need an unprecedented public outrage to prevent the annihilation of this historic herd. We gave it our all; we alerted and informed the public and the press, we held rallies and protests, we filed a lawsuit and we negotiated with the Forest Service. What happened next was amazing, it was the unprecedented public outrage we needed, and then some- the people of Arizona and its politicians gave these iconic wild horses a voice. Under continued pressure, the Forest Service agreed to rescind the impound notice. Together, we changed the course of history for the Salt River wild horses, who now have a legal right to live on the Salt River in Arizona and are protected under State law.
More than 100 news pieces can be found when you search “Salt River Wild Horse Management Group” , including pieces on CNN, the New York Times, USA Today, the Washington Times and our very supportive local stations ABC15, FOX10, CBS5/3tv and 12News.
On the top of a steep mountain, three month old Mori stood all alone, disoriented and blinded. A perceptive visitor noticed and called our emergency hotline, after which we set out to rescue her on Nov 14th 2017. Her rescue from the mountain in the dark was difficult and her prognosis was bleak…
The Salt River Wild Horse Management Group (SRWHMG) is a non-profit organization 501(c)3, dedicated to monitor, study and protect the Salt River wild horses in the Tonto National Forest, Arizona. We use all of our resources and connections to prevent harm from coming to the Salt River wild horses…
There are many jobs to do, from monitoring horses on the river, to organizing fundraising, to fixing fences to keep horses off the roads, to participating in our events and sales booths, to showing up for rallies and appointments with legislators or also mucking stalls at our Facility! There are also online jobs…