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ALTURAS — Wild horse gather operations are now complete for this year after 22 horses were safely gathered and transferred to the temporary sorting facility Sunday. This makes 499 the overall total for the 2019 gather, according to a Modoc National Forest news release.

The 2013 territory management plan designates a level of 206 to 402 adult wild horses. There are currently an estimated 1,802 adult wild horses on and around the territory.

“Sun J Livestock is to be commended for their work on this year’s gather,” said Acting Forest Supervisor Tim Pohlman. “It’s truly amazing they were able to gather all these horses with no deaths or serious injuries to any horses under their care.”

“Everybody involved has been really impressive,” Pohlman added. “I’ll look forward to seeing these horses find new homes.”

Though no horses died as a result of gather operations, three horses have died after being transferred to the Double Devil Wild Horse Corrals near Alturas. One mare died quickly as a result of the injury she received from running into a gate at the corrals on Sept. 25. The second death was a young stud that had to be euthanized Sept. 28 after care and observation for a leg injury. The third happened on Oct. 4 due to trampling in the mare pen. Veterinarians and forest personnel are awaiting test results to be sure the horse was not otherwise sick.

While every accident concerns forest personnel, this is a relatively-low mortality rate for an operation of this kind, the release stated.

Forest personnel will soon complete processing horses at the corrals and move on to placing horses with their new families. The earliest horses will be available for selection is Oct. 15, at which time people who already have approved applications and have made appointments by calling 530-233-8738 will be able to view and select their horses.

All others will begin selection, by appointment only, on Nov. 2, with priority based on dates applications were received. Three-hour blocks to select horses with a Forest Service escort will be offered with confirmed reservations.

Applications and the required pick-up planning form are available at https://go.usa.gov/xQ3r3.