Devils Garden update: ‘Fewer than 70’ older wild horses remain available for adoption, sale

Captured wild horses in temporary corrals at Devils Garden Wild Horse Territory during a 2016 roundup. RTF file photo by Steve Paige.

“Fewer than 70” of 260 captured older wild horses remain available for adoption or for sale at $1 apiece at Modoc National Forest near Alturas, Calif., according to the U.S. Forest Service.

They were among 932 wild horses captured last fall during a helicopter roundup at Devils Garden Wild Horse Territory.

The wild horses that are ages 10-older are in danger of being sold “without restriction” — without protections against slaughter — depending on the outcome of lawsuits filed by Return to Freedom and other advocates to stop the unrestricted sale. A federal court hearing is set for May 9.

Wild horse advocates remain concerned that USFS’s decision, announced in December, to drop the sale price from $25 to $1 will make the sale more attractive to kill buyers or third parties willing to sell to slaughterhouses.

The USFS is allowing a single buyer to purchase up to 24 wild horses each.

Both horse slaughter and the transport of horses with intent to slaughter are illegal under California law.

Those who adopt a wild horse, for $125 each, do not gain title for one year but are allowed to return the horse at any time during that one-year period. Those that purchase a wild horse receive title immediately.

USFS has not decided whether it will hold adoption / sale events online or in person. It continues to allow in-person adoptions and sales by appointment at the Double Devil Corrals at Modoc National Forest.

The USFS announced at the start of the roundup that it planned to sell remaining wild horses ages 10-older without restriction. Advocacy groups, including Return to Freedom, have filed suit in federal court to stop the horses from being sold without a prohibition against slaughter. 

The wild horses are among 932 captured during a fall helicopter roundup at Devils Garden. A total of 128 wild horses have been adopted or sold since mid-November.

More than 650 Devils Garden wild horses ages 9-under as well as mares with foals will be available for adoption soon from the Bureau of Land Management’s Litchfield Wild Horse and Burro Corrals, athough no date has been announced for adoptions to begin. BLM estimates that they may begin in mid-March, after delays caused by weather and the government shutdown.

Adoption / sale information

For USFS adoption and sale forms and for more information, click here. Photos of the wild horses can be found on the Double Devil Wild Horse Corrals Facebook.

USFS continues to allow adopter / buyer viewing, selection and pickup of wild horses by appointment each Wednesday and Friday as well as on the first Saturday of each month. Appointments must be confirmed at least seven days in advance after completing a “Viewing and Pickup Scheduling” request form by clicking here and submitting it to

For more information about the BLM adoption process, click here.

Take Action

Click here to send a message to the U.S. Forest Service opposing unrestricted sale of the Devils Garden Wild Horses.

Click here if you are interested in providing a home or transportation for Devils Garden horses

Donate to RTF’s Wild Horse Defense Fund