On Friday, December 29, 2017, the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group released the following press release in regards to the new Salt River Horse Act.
Salt River Wild Horse Management Group Commends State & Feds for Signing MOU to Protect the Salt River Wild Horses
Salt River Wild Horse Protection Act Becomes Law!
Mesa, AZ . . . The Salt River Wild Horse Management Group and its national coalition partner, the American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC) today commended Governor Doug Ducey, the State Ag department and the U.S. Forest Service for reaching an agreement for the management of the Salt River Wild Horses. The agreement fulfills the conditional enactment clause of the Salt River Wild Horse Act, passed by the Arizona Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Ducey in May 2016.
The agreement establishes a management structure and process to provide humane management for the Salt River wild horses, who reside in the Tonto National Forest. The agreement authorizes the State Ag Department to partner with a non-profit organization to assist with management and care of the Salt River Wild Horses. The Salt River Wild Horse Management Group stands ready to provide that assistance and continue its long-standing role in caring for these majestic horses.
“Two years ago, the Salt River wild horses were almost removed and disposed of. Today is a great day. The Salt River wild horses are protected from harassment and slaughter. We are deeply grateful to Governor Doug Ducey for his compassion and dedication to protecting these cherished wild horses, for State Rep. Kelly Townsend for introducing the bill that made this agreement to protect the horses possible, for the State Ag Department and to the Forest Service for recognizing the public’s strong interest in protecting this historic and popular horse herd, ” said Simone Netherlands, President of the SRWHMG.
“The Salt River Wild Horse Management Group, with our 100 volunteers and daily presence on the Salt River, is ready to roll up our sleeves and enter into an agreement with the state to continue our management of this wild horse herd that people from all over the world travel to see,” Netherlands continued. “We are grateful for the enormous public support for our work, which has included the rescue and treatment of seriously injured Salt River wild horses, fixing miles of fencing to keep horses out of roadways and education/outreach activities to keep the public and the horses safe.”
Two years ago, the Forest Service announced its intent to remove and “dispose of” the Salt River wild horses. The Salt River Wild Horse Management Group, swiftly coordinated rallies and ignited a public outcry so large, it changed the fate of these beloved and majestic animals. Subsequently the group negotiated and fought for passage of legislation for the horses’ protection. The legislation is now in effect. It establishes that the Salt River wild horses are not stray livestock and that they are protected from harassment, shooting, killing and slaughter.