Alturas, Calif., July 6th, 2022—A recent aerial census in and around the Devil’s Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory estimated the current population at 1,205 adult wild horses. Data collected during census flights is compared using statistical modeling to estimate sighting rates for observers and provide a conservative population estimate.
The Forest Service is committed to conducting annual wild horse population surveys. This will ensure population estimates are as accurate as possible and ensure the best available science is used to inform decisions about management actions.
“This year’s population census shows the population is still more than the appropriate management level of 206-402 adult wild horses,” said Forest Supervisor Chris Christofferson. “This population estimate is still more than what the habitat can support.”
The forest plans to gather wild horses from the Devil’s Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory again this fall to continue moving toward the appropriate management level. Reducing the population helps address impacts on aquatic resources, wildlife, grazing and other traditional cultural practices.
A virtual meeting is scheduled for July 13, 2022, at 4 p.m. (PDT) to provide updates on planning for the gather this fall and use of helicopters and other motorized vehicles during gather operations. During the meeting, public comments will be accepted regarding the use of mechanized equipment to gather horses in 2022.
Join at https://usfs.zoomgov.com/j/1619107646?pwd=MzFqcVExNGJXYi9SZ096d0dNQzZaQT09 with Meeting ID: 161 910 7646 Passcode: WHmtg22! To participate by phone, find your local number at https://usfs.zoomgov.com/u/acQ3JfTgLb.
For information about Devil’s Garden Wild Horses, their territory or how to provide homes for horses, please visit
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