1,000 horses to be corralled in Modoc National Forest, up for adoption
The Modoc National Forest plans to gather and remove about 1,000 wild horses beginning Wednesday.
The removal will take place at the Devil's Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory.
The Forest Service says the appropriate management level of the area is 206 to 402 horses. There are currently approximately 4,000 horses in the area.
According to officials, the action is being taken is "to help address impacts on aquatic resources, wildlife, grazing and traditional cultural practices and to "allow range and riparian ecological conditions to recover, while also supporting wild horse herd health by reducing competition for limited food, water and habitat."
The Forest Service has a management plan online, called the Devil's Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory Management Plan.
Officials said most horses will be available for adoption at the BLM Litchfield Corrals; those horses will be under 10 years old. The horses 10 years and older will be offered for adoption and sale from the Double Devil Wild Horse Corrals on the Modoc National Forest.
California Senator Dianne Feinstein is raising questions about the event and the possibility of the horses being sent to slaughterhouses, writing questions in a letter to the U.S. Forest Service.
Feinstein writes, "I understand that the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management have a statutory obligation under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 to protect wild horses and burros on federal land. However, it is also possible that many of these animals will end up being sold to slaughterhouses."
For more information about the horses and their role in the forest, the Forest Service has released a video.