The Devil's Garden Wild Horse Territory in the Modoc National Forest near Alturas, California is home to one of the state's largest and most robust wild horse populations.
But like other herds, the Devils Garden horses are the target of livestock grazing interests, which want to minimize the number of mustangs roaming on public lands to maximize the number of livestock grazing on public lands for below-market, taxpayer-subsidized rates.
Several years ago, AWHPC teamed up with the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and advocate Carla Bowers to file a lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service over its plans to divide the Devils Garden Wild Horse Territroy into two sections, removing the area in the middle and creating two, non-intermingling herds that will be too small to be genetically viable. Oral argument on the case is pending at the U.S. Court of Appeals.
Meanwhile the USFS intends to round up and remove 200 wild horses from the Devils Garden Wild Horse Territory. Since these horses are under the jurisdiction of the Forest Service, they are not covered by the appropriations rider that prohibits the Bureau of Land Management from selling captured wild horses and burros for slaughter. After they are rounded up, the Devils Garden horses will be taken to the BLM's Litchfield holding corrals near Susanville, CA. If adoptive homes are not found for these horses, the Forest Service can legally sell them at a slaughter auction where they will be purchased by kill buyers and trucked for slaughter in Canada or Mexico.
Read about the Forest Service plans for the roundup here and here.