The House has initially approved a measure that would offer protections to the herd of wild horses living near Arizona's Salt River.
Rep. Kelly Townsend is sponsoring a proposal that would establish the herd of about 100 horses as state property under care of the Arizona Department of Agriculture. It would also opt the state out of paying for management of the herd.
Townsend amended her proposal to include additional protections that include designating areas along the Salt River for the herd and prohibiting the department from auctioning off the horses.
The measure comes after the U.S. Forest Service planned to remove the horses. The Forest Service has since reversed its decision facing public pressure.
The House initially approved House Bill 2340 Wednesday. It now awaits a formal vote.