Salt River Wild Horse Herd
The Arizona Salt River population is located in Maricopa County, Arizona, along the lower Salt River on the Tonto National Forest. The horses have been in this area around the river for decades if not centuries without the benefit of protection provided by the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. The claim at the time was that the horses were not in need of protection by this act because of the two Native American reservations boarding the territory. This omission has since put the Salts in danger.
In 2015, the National Forest Service announced a plan to round up all these horses. This plan was derailed by the citizens of Arizona when they stood together and said “NO”. When the state realized how much the wild horses are cherished they proposed HB2340. This bill was passed and signed by Governor Doug Ducey in 2016.
At this time, the Tonto Forest Service, Arizona Department of Agriculture, Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) and the Department of Environmental Studies have been meeting to get a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) set by the end of 2017. If by chance this MOU does not get finished by Dec.31, 2017 the entire bill will die and need to start all over.
These horses roam free among the public access areas, swim and graze along the river.
Text of HB2340
Representatives Townsend, Barton, Cardenas: Campbell, Cobb, Fann, Finchem
AMENDING TITLE 3, CHAPTER 11, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES, BY ADDING ARTICLE 11;
RELATING TO HORSES.
Section 1. Title 3, chapter 11, Arizona Revised Statutes,
ARTICLE 11. WILD HORSES
Salt River wild horse herd; state property; management
agreement; written authorization; violation;
A. THE SALT RIVER WILD HORSE HERD IS PROPERTY OF THIS STATE UNDER THE
JURISDICTION OF THE DIVISION.
B. THE DIVISION MAY ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH:
1. A PRIVATE ENTITY FOR THE ACTIVE MANAGEMENT OF THE SALT RIVER WILD
2. THE UNITED STATES FOREST SERVICE FOR THE COLLABORATIVE MANAGEMENT
OF THE SALT RIVER WILD HORSE HERD.
C. A PERSON MAY NOT ACTIVELY MANAGE, TAKE, SLAUGHTER OR EUTHANIZE A
HORSE THAT IS PART OF THE SALT RIVER WILD HORSE HERD WITHOUT WRITTEN
AUTHORIZATION FROM THE DIVISION.
D. THIS STATE IS NOT OBLIGATED TO PAY FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF THE SALT
RIVER WILD HORSE HERD.
E. A PERSON WHO VIOLATES THIS SECTION IS GUILTY OF A CLASS 1