ALTURAS —The Modoc National Forest is working with Modoc County and the Pit River Tribe to plan for the gather and removal of approximately 1,000 wild horses from the Devil’s Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory this fall, according to a news release.
The removal of the wild horses is anticipated to help address impacts on aquatic resources, wildlife, grazing and cultural practices. Reducing the population will allow range and riparian ecological conditions to recover, while also supporting herd health by reducing competition for limited food, water and habitat.
The 2013 Devil’s Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory Management Plan is available at https://bit.ly/2Jro0Lc. This plan designates an appropriate management level of 206 to 402 adult wild horses. There are currently an estimated 3,900 on and around the territory.
A contract was awarded to Cattoor Livestock Roundup on Aug. 24, for the gather, care and removal of 1,000 wild horses from the eastern portion of the Wild Horse Territory. Gather operations are expected to occur during the entire month of October.
Gathered horses will be transported to short-term holding where they will be fed, watered and humanely cared for. Most are expected to be under 10 years old. The Devil’s Garden offers colorful and stout horses that can be trained for any number of uses. Find information on how to adopt wild horses at https://www.blm.gov/adoptahorse/.
Through a separate planning effort, the Forest is hoping to construct a new short-term holding facility. This facility will support placement of gathered horses and allow the Modoc to support similar efforts on other national forests in the future.