Bill to protect Salt River Horse herd in Tonto National Forest heads to Senate

PHOENIX – Advocates of the Salt River wild horse herd on Tuesday cheered a unanimous vote by a state Senate Committee that urges passages of a House bill to protect the wild horses in the Tonto National Forest in Mesa.

“We are grateful to the members of this Senate Committee for their enthusiastic support for this legislation and our Salt River wild horses,” said Simone Netherlands, president of the Scottsdale-based Salt River Wild Horse Management Group. The vote was from the committee on Federalism, Mandates and Fiscal Responsibility. “It’s great to see our legislators standing up for the will of the people to protect this irreplaceable Arizona natural treasure.”

The proposed bill criminalizes the harassment or killing of a Salt River wild horse clarifies that they are not stray animals, and establishes a process to humanely manage the horses in a partnership with community groups and address the safety concerns for both the horses and the public. At this time, there are about 100 wild horses in the national forest.