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Horse gather

Wild horses gathered in 2018 and held at the Double Devil Wild Horse Corrals near Alturas have all been placed. A community meeting regarding an upcoming gather this fall is set for Aug. 8.

ALTURAS — All available horses gathered in 2018 and held at the Double Devil Wild Horse Corrals have been placed into new homes.

This success is the result of a coordinated effort by Modoc National Forest personnel, partners, volunteers and everyone who bought or adopted horses.

The forest plans to gather approximately 500 wild horses from the Devil’s Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory this fall to continue moving toward the appropriate management level. Reducing the population helps address impacts on aquatic resources, wildlife, grazing and other traditional cultural practices. Once again, older horses will be available at the Double Devil Wild Horse Corrals near Alturas, and younger horses through the BLM.

Upcoming gather

A community meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8, at Modoc National Forest Headquarters, 225 W. Eighth St., in Alturas, to provide updates on a wide range of activities; focusing on planning for the gather this fall and use of helicopters and other motorized vehicles during gather operations. Forest personnel will accept public comments during the meeting.

A recent aerial survey in and around the Devil’s Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory estimated the current population at 1,802 adult wild horses. Data collected is compared using statistical modeling to estimate sighting rates for observers during the survey.

“We estimate the current wild horse population remains greater than the appropriate management level of 206-402 adult wild horses,” said Forest Supervisor Amanda McAdams. “This population estimate is still five times more than what the habitat can support.”

Population survey

The Modoc National Forest conducts wild horse population surveys every three years. The last survey in the spring of 2016 estimated 2,246 adult horses in and around the territory. Both estimates represent the best available science used to inform decisions about management actions.

There are still plenty of opportunities to get involved, including adopting through the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The BLM Litchfield Corrals has more than 300 Devil’s Garden Horses from the 2018 gather available for adoption. For more information on how to adopt from the BLM, email wildhorse@blm.gov or call 866-468-7826. For information on the BLM’s financial adoption incentive program, visit https://on.doi.gov/2MsdHYm.

For information about Devil’s Garden Wild Horses, their territory or how to provide homes for horses, please visit https://go.usa.gov/xQ3r3.