Twenty-three horses were gathered yesterday for a total of 321 during the 2021 Devil’s Garden Plateau Wild Horse Gather. This includes 139 studs, 141 mares and 41 foals.
Corral staff will allow themselves and the horses more time this year before they begin placement activities. Pictures and videos will be shared as soon as possible; please be patient. Devil’s Garden Plateau Wild Horse information, gather updates and applications to make these unique horses part of your family are available at https://go.usa.gov/xQ3r3.
The prolonged drought has created issues even in this already-arid environment. Forest range managers report the native perennial grasses are struggling, with dirt hummocks the only remaining remnants of these relatively-resilient bunchgrasses in many upland locations. Even the invasive and nutrient-poor annuals like cheatgrass, medusahead and African wiregrass did not grow well this spring.
While weaker horses do not fare so well, horses who can compete for forage are still eating as they break through “excolsure” fencing built to keep cattle from feeding on delicate riparian vegetation. These areas are protected for native wildlife and aquatic species including macroinvertebrates that support the entire food chain. They are negatively impacted by loss of vegetative cover and large ungulates wading in the water.
The Appropriate Management Level of 206-402 adult horses set by the 2013 Devil’s Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory Management Plan is designed to manage the herd at a level the land can support in all climatic conditions without overutilizing the resources on which all animals depend.