State, feds reach agreement on Salt River horses protection

State and federal agencies have reached an agreement on the management of a herd of wild horses living near Arizona's Salt River.

The Arizona Attorney General's Office officially approved a partnership Thursday between the Arizona Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Forest Service.

The pact fully enacts legislation signed by Gov. Doug Ducey in May 2016 making it illegal to harass, shoot, kill or slaughter a horse that is part of the herd.

State Rep. Kelly Townsend, who sponsored the legislation, said Friday that now people can continue enjoying the horses knowing they are protected.

About 100 horses are in the herd that has historically lived around the lower Salt River and Saguaro Lake east of Phoenix.

The proposal was developed after a plan to remove them sparked an outcry.