May 11, 2016: Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signs historic legislation to protect the Salt River wild horses
May 5, 2016: Bill to protect Salt River wild horses clears last legislative hurdle with a 53-3 House vote
HB 2340 to protect the famed Salt River wild horses in the Tonto National Forest cleared its last hurdle in the Arizona legislature today with a 53-3 vote in the House of Representatives to approve the bill and send it on to Governor Doug Ducey’s desk for signature.
- AZ legislature passes bill to protect salt river wild horses
- Arizona legislature votes to protect salt river horses
- Salt River horse bill final House vote Thursday
April 11, 2016 Bill to protect Salt River wild horses passes AZ Senate 27-2!
Wild horse advocates are declaring victory for the Salt River wild horses after today’s Senate vote of 27-2 in favor of HB 2340, legislation to protect the cherished wild horse herd. The House passed the bill on Feb. 25, and the legislation will now head back there for concurrence on amendments added in the Senate to strengthen the legislation, before moving on to the Governor’s desk for signature into law.
March 3, 2016 State bill for Salt River wild horse management amended; gains support of horse advocates
On February 25, the Arizona House of Representatives approved HB 2340, as finally amended. (Read more below for details.)The bill, which aims to protect the famed Salt River wild horses in the Tonto National Forest, is now in the Senate, where it is scheduled for a hearing before the Federalism, Mandates and Fiscal Responsibility Committee on March 8 at 9 a.m.
February 2016 Update: Yesterday, the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group and AWHPC filled the hearing room with local horse advocates as a bill for state takeover of the Salt River Wild Horses who live in the Tonto National Forest was discussed by the AZ House of Representatives Federalism and States' Rights Committee.
This is a deceptive and dangerous bill that appears to protect the horses, but would actually enable their removal, auction and even slaughter. It would also put the horses into the hands of the Arizona Agriculture Department, which would manage them like livestock, not wild horses. Many of the bill's supporter's view wild horses as "feral animals" who should be managed like feral dogs and cats - spayed, neutered, disease tested, vaccinated, euthanized (or in the case of horses, slaughtered) when expedient, etc.
We will continue to work with the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group to defeat this misleading bill. Because these horses live on federal land, the only way to secure their future is by securing their federal protection as “a recreational resource” in the National Forest. We will continue to work toward achieving that goal.
Read below for our media release calling for public support as well as news coverage from yesterday’s hearing..
- House Panel to Debate Bill on Wild Horses at Salt River
- Controversial Proposal to Protect Salt River Wild Horses Moves Forward
December 2015 Update: On Friday, December 11, 2015, the Forest Service withdrew its notice to impound the Salt River wild horses, nearly five months after first publishing it. The move came in the face of intense public and political pressure to protect the horses in their historic habitat in the Tonto National Forest. The Forest Service now says that it will work with stakeholders on a management plan to protect the horses.
- Forest Service to leave wild horses at Salt River
- Feds to axe plan to impound and sell Arizona's Salt River horses
- Wild Horses Will be Allowed to Stay at Salt River
- Salt River Wild Horse Roundup Notice Will Be Withdrawn, Advocates Say
- Salt River horses update: Forest Service to withdraw notice to impound horses
- Forest Service drops plans to remove Salt River horses
- Wild horses will be allowed to stay at Salt River
- Salt River Horse Advocates Applaud Arizona Congressional Delegation’s Support for Salt River Wild Horses
- Arizona delegation wants progress on Salt River horse plan
Update July 2015: The famed and beloved Salt River wild horses in the Tonto National Forest near Mesa, Arizona were in immediate threat of total eradication thanks to a U.S. Forest Service plan to begin rounding them up as early as Friday, August 7. These special horses have been present on the lands in and around the Salt River for over a century, but the Forest Service claimed that they are "estray livestock" and intended to "impound" all "unauthorized" horses in just a few short days.
This is a precarious situation because the Salt River horses lack federal protection due to the Forest Service’s failure to designate a protected Wild Horse Territory for them after the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act was passed in 1971. At the same time, the Forest Service admits that the horses have been present in the National Forest since the 1930’s, and historic articles document their presence on those lands since the late 1800’s. The legal upshot of the Forest Service’s failure to protect the Salt River horses is that they can be rounded up and sold at auction, where kill buyers could purchase them for slaughter.
Thanks to the tremendous outpouring of support from the local Arizona community and from advocates all around the world, the U.S. Forest Service has abandoned this controversial plan to remove dozens of horses from their Salt River home and is currently searching for alternative plans to manage them.
The community in Arizona rallied around the Salt River wild horses.
More than 100 people showed up at the Town Hall meeting to voice their concerns and offer solutions.
Letters/Statements of Support for the Salt River Wild Horses:
- Arizona Congressional Delegation
- U.S. Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain
- U.S. Representatives Matt Salmon, David Schweikert and Krysten Sinema
- U.S. Representatives Martha McSally, Ann Kirkpatrick, Michelle Lujan Grisham, Krysten Sinema
- Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community
Additional Media Coverage:
Forest Service Decision
- Threat to Arizona’s Salt River Horses Spurs New Battle Over Western Lands
- Salt River Wild Horse Management Lays Out Plan
- Tonto National Forest supervisor postpones action on horses
- Salt River wild horses given reprieve until mid-December
- Tonto Nationl Forest Public Notice of Intent to Impound Salt River Wild Horses
- Feds say wild horses on the Salt River are not wild
- Possible deal to manage wild horses near the Salt River
- US Parks Service: Hold Your Horses On Roundup In Tonto National Forest
- Sides dig in over wild horses
Town Hall Meeting Coverage
- Town hall meeting addresses plight of Salt River wild horses
- Salt River Wild Horse Town Hall Filled with Song, Tears, and Politics
Legal Action Coverage
- Management Group: Lawsuit Tied to Salt River Wild Horse Roundup Dismissed
- Federal judge rejects emergency request to block Salt River wild horse roundup
- Horse roundup plans placed on temporary hold
- Conservationists file legal action to block Arizona wild horse round-up
- Arizona Governor Doug Ducey says 'feds should leave our free roaming & wild horses alone'
- A second thought about those Salt River horses
- Forest Services aims at horses, shoots self in foot
- Cecil the lion mattered, do the Salt River wild horses?
- Tribal sanctuary available to Salt River wild horses
- Uproar: Feds to round up famous 'wild' horse herd
- Wild Horses near Salt River to be removed by Forest Service
- Salt River Roundup to Take Place in Tonto National Forest
- Salt River wild horses to be rounded up, could face death
- Wild horses to be removed from Salt River; conservationists furious