The state of Arizona and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) have finalized their agreement to protect the herd of horses that roams in the Tonto National Forest.

The agreement represents the final enactment of the Salt River Wild Horse Act of 2016

Two years ago, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed into law a measure making it unlawful for anyone to harass, shoot, injure, or slaughter a Salt River horse and placing the animals under USFS jurisdiction. The legislation also specifies that the state can enter into an agreement with private entities to address issues involving the Salt River horse herd. Since the law’s passage, the nonprofit Salt River Wild Horse Management Group has been assisting the state and the USFS with managing caring for the animals.

The legislation also required that Arizona Department of Agriculture to enter an official enactment agreement with the USFS by Dec. 31, 2017, and that final enactment requirement was signed on that day.