The U.S. Forest Service is now selling for $25 each nine mares — most of which are likely ready to foal soon — and 12 geldings ages 9-younger that were captured last fall on the Devils Garden Wild Horse Territory in Northern California.
If the younger wild horses are not adopted or sold by May 13, they will be offered for sale for $1 apiece. The USFS has offered the younger wild horses for adoption three times, making them sale-eligible.
The wild horses were among 932 that were captured during a helicopter roundup last fall.
The majority, about 650, were transported to the Bureau of Land Management’s Litchfield Corrals in Susanville, Calif. Those included most of the wild horses ages 9-younger as well as pregnant mares 10-older.
According to the USFS, 181 wild horses ages 10-older have been sold with restrictions against slaughter and another 38 adopted from the new Double Devil Corrals at Modoc National Forest, near Alturas, Calif.
As of the middle of March, 26 wild horses 10-over were still available for adoption or for sale with restrictions against slaughter at $1 apiece from Modoc National Forest. On Monday, a USFS said in an email message that the total number of horses both younger and older than 10 stood at “about 30.”
Any remaining wild horses 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.
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.
To schedule an appointment at Modoc National Forest’s Double Devil Corrals, contact (530) 233-8738.
Adoption appointments for BLM’s Litchfield facility are fully booked until at least April 22. To book an appointment after that date, contact email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.