US Forest Service Rounds Up Devil’s Garden Horses

California’s largest wild horse herd undergoes another roundup by the US Forest Service; meanwhile cattle and sheep continue grazing in the same area. Photo credit: S.Paige/RtF, 2016 Devil’s Garden Wild Horse Territory roundup.

California’s Devil’s Garden Wild Horse Territory covers over 257,000 acres. Wild horses here are managed by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), not the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as many western herds are.

A contract of over $599,000 was given to Cattoor Livestock Roundup, Inc. to provide helicopter and bait trapping services. From 2020-2022, this company received three other contracts for roundups totaling over $1,896,000. Additionally, they were provided over $100,000 to transport captured Devil’s Garden horses to various locations around the country.

Since 2016, just over 3,000 wild horses have been removed from the Devil’s Garden herd. After a current roundup, the total could reach 3,500 wild horses.

The horses live in the Modoc National Forest where privately owned livestock (cattle and sheep) also graze.


A report by the American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC) indicated the following based on observers they had on site:

Sept. 12: 7 Horses Captured; September 11: 11 horses captured; Sept 10: 5 horses captured; Sept. 9: 10 horses captured; Sept. 8: 4 horses captured; Sept. 7: No horses captured; Sept. 6: 10 horses captured; Sept. 5: No horses captured; Sept. 4: 15 horses captured.

One of their daily observation reports included the following:

“One of the stallions was still displaying anxiety due to being separated from his mares in the next pen. Some of the mares captured today appeared to be a bit skittish, and some of the foals seemed too young to have been separated from their mothers.” (AWHC observer)