Many concerned for wild horses, Modoc National Forest asks public to adopt

The Modoc National Forest is looking for homes for wild horses. On Wednesday, began the process of about a 1,000 wild horses corraled in Modoc County.

The Modoc National Forest is looking for homes for wild horses. On Wednesday, began the process of getting about 1,000 wild horses corralled in Modoc County.

The horses are from the Devil's Garden Plateau Territory. The forest service said the population of the wild horses is more than they can care for.

Laurence Crabtree, Forest Supervisor from Modoc National Forest said there are around 4,000 wild horses in the area where they typically have between 200 to 400 horses.

Crabtree said the removal of the wild horses in the area would help relieve the stress on the land and the horses and are asking for the public's help with adopting the horses.

However many people, including the CANA Foundation which advocates for wild horses, are concerned that these wild horses could end up in slaughterhouses.

The Founder and President of CANA Foundation Manda Kalimian expressed their concerns about the gathering and said this wild horse removal could have been prevented altogether.

"This does not have to happen. This was not necessary. If these horses were properly managed from the start and birth control was used, opportunities to help re-wild these horses were used, this entire situation was avoidable," said Kalimian. "They are saying the land in itself can sustain 400 horses. I don't understand is they are managing these horses, how we got to 4,000?"

Modoc National Forest spokesman Ken Sandusky said those ideas aren't considered to be effective when managing the number of wild horses.

"The National Environmental Policy Act, NEPA, is what federal land management agencies do for all undertakings, all projects. The 2013 Devil's Garden Plateau Wild Forest Territory management plan was a NEPA document. Everything we do has to be analyzed and approved through NEPA. When they did that 2013 territory management plan under the NEPA process, the use of PZP or fertility control was not analyzed to get to the appropriate management level. It was only analyzed to be used as a means to maintain the appropriate management level once we get there," said Sandusky. "The reason for that is we are talking about thousands of horses over hundreds of thousands of very inaccessible acres, so it's not thought that a fertility control darting program could be an efficient and effective means to reach AML (Appropriate Management Level)."

According to the United States Forest Service, the first day of the gathering went "very well." They said 66 horses were gathered on Wednesday with no injuries as a result of gather activities and that they will continue to gather tomorrow, Thursday at the location north of Big Sage Reservoir.

Forest Supervisor Crabtree said those who are interested in adopting or purchasing the horses can visit this site

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