ALTURAS — As of Monday, 49 wild horses have been gathered from the 2019 Devil’s Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory since the project began on Sept. 5. The Modoc National Forest has contracted with Sun J Livestock to gather approximately 500 wild horses from the territory this fall.
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.
The Forest reports native perennial bunch grasses are already showing signs of better health around the Logan Slough trap site after gathering approximately 500 horses in 2018. Native perennial grasses stay green much longer into the summer, providing better nutrition and increased wildfire resilience when compared to invasive annuals. By reducing the year-round grazing pressure, native grasses can better compete with invasive annuals and provide the nutrition wild horses and other wildlife need to survive high-desert winters.
“We are seeing some beautiful horses coming into the corrals from this year’s gather,” said Regional Range Program Manager Leigh Sevy. “As expected, we are seeing a lot of bays and roans, but there were some impressive black horses brought in from Steele Swamp and some amazing color came in yesterday. They are all show stoppers, but many are absolutely breathtaking.”
Forest personnel invite the community to the Double Devil Wild Horse Corrals every Sunday at 9 a.m. during the gather for an open house and tour. The corrals will be open to tours on Wednesdays and Fridays at 6:30 a.m. as well. Gather viewing opportunities are available on a first-come-first-served basis. Call 530-233-8738 for more information.
Corral staff hope to begin placing horses by the end of October. Applications are available now at https://go.usa.gov/xQ3r3.