US Forest Service Wild Horse Territories

This information is from http://www.fs.fed.us/rangelands/ecology/wildhorseburro/territories/index.shtml
Go there for much more information!
 

Wild Horse & Burro
Territories
by alphabetical order


Big Bear CA (burros)
Big Creek UT
Black Mountain CA
Brushy Mountain CA
Burro NV
Butler Basin NV
Caja del Rio NM
Cherry Spring NV
Devil's Garden CA
Dobbin Summit NV
Ellsworth NV
Jarita NM
Jicarilla NM
Kelly Creek NV
Little Fishlake NV
McGavin Peak CA
Monitor NV
Monte Cristo NV
Northumberland NV
Paradise Peak NV
Powell Mountain CA
Shoshone NV
Three Sisters OR
Tierney NV
Toiyabe NV
Toquima NV
White Mountain CA/NV

 


Map from USFS website

 

 

Big Bear Wild Burro Territory - CA

Administered by the Big Bear Ranger District, San Bernardino National Forest.

Big Creek Wild Horse Territory - UT

Administered by the Salt Lake Ranger District, Wasatch-Cache National Forest.

Black Mountain Wild Horse Territory - CA

Picture of horses on the Black Mountain Wild Horse Territory. Photo from USFS website

Administered by the Santa Lucia Ranger District, Los Padres National Forest, California, near San Luis Obispo.

Brushy Mountain Wild Horse Territory - CA

Administered by the Almanor Ranger District, Lassen National Forest, and located in California approximately 40 miles southwest of Chester.

Burro Wild Burro Territory - NV
The Burro Wild Burro Territory (WBT) is administered by the Austin/Tonopah Ranger District, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.
Picture of five burros.

Photo from USFS website

Butler Basin Wild Horse Territory - NV

Administered by the Austin/Tonopah Ranger District, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

Caja del Rio Wild Horse Territory - NM

Administered by the Espanola Ranger District, Santa Fe National Forest.

Cherry Spring Wild Horse Territory - NV

The Cherry Spring Wild Horse Territory (WHT) is administered by the Ruby Mountains Ranger District, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

Devil’s Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory - CAPicture of four horses. (also see California page)

The Devil’s Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory (WHT) is administered by the Devil’s Garden/Doublehead Ranger District, Modoc National Forest.

Devil's Garden and DoubleHead are each distinct areas, with a distinct type of horsesin each:

  • Devil's Garden horses are large, heavy draft crosses
  • Doublehead horses are light saddle types.

Photo from USFS website

 

Dobbin Summit Wild Horse Territory - NC

The Dobbin Summit Wild Horse Territory (WHT) is administered by the Austin/Tonopah Ranger District, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

Ellsworth Wild Horse Territory - NV

The Ellsworth Wild Horse Territory (WHT) is administered by the Austin/Tonopah Ranger District, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

Jarita Wild Horse Territory - NM

Picture of two horses on the Jarita Wild Horse Territory. Photo from USFS website

The Jarita Mesa Wild Horse Territory (WHT) is administered by the El Rito Ranger District, Carson National Forest.

Jicarilla Wild Horse Territory - NM

Picture of three horses on the Jicarilla Wild Horse Territory.

Photo from USFS website

The Jicarilla Wild Horse Territory (WHT) is administered by the Jicarilla Ranger District, Carson National Forest.

Kelly Creek Wild Horse Territory - NV

The Kelly Creek Wild Horse Territory (WHT) is administered by the Austin/Tonopah Ranger District, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

Little Fishlake Wild Horse Territory - NV

The Little Fishlake Wild Horse Territory (WHT) is administered by the Austin/Tonopah Ranger District, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

McGavin Peak Wild Horse Territory - CA
(also see California page)

The McGavin Peak Wild Horse Territory (WHT) is administered by the Goosenest Ranger District, Klamath National Forest, near McDoel, California. This herd has been zeroed out due to conflicts with locals

Monitor Wild Horse Territory - NV

The Monitor Wild Horse Territory (WHT) is administered by the Austin/Tonopah Ranger District, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

Although Spaniards brought horses with them to the Nevada area in the 1500's and 1600's, it wasn't until settlement began in the 1800's that wild horse herds began to develop in this area to any great extent. Many animals were abandoned as during times of economic failure or drought, forcing the settlers off the land.

Another source is known as "The Dixon Strain."

Tom Dixon was a rancher who came from Ireland to California and then to Nevada in 1869. He raised Shires, Percherons, Morgans, Hambletonians, and various Irish stock. ("Hambletonians" is not a term we hear much today, but they were popular in the 1800's and were the foundation bloodline for the Standardbred breed of today). Dixon ran his  horses from Long Valley to Fish Creek, Spring, Diamond, and Monitor Valleys, and his herds numbered over 10,000.

Yet another source of today's wild herds were the Clifford “Steeldusts.” “Steeldust” was a common name referring to a preferred type of cow pony. These horses were descendants of Steel Dust, a Kentucky bred stud born in 1843.

Steel Dust was of Thoroughbred lineage, but an excellent sprinter. He was a blood bay who stood 15 hands high and weighed 1200 lbs. He was moved to Texas and became a popular sire for ranch stock. Many ranchers would breed wild mares of Spanish decent to Steel Dust, and the result was a much desired cow horse.

Horses of Steel Dust lineage became commonly known as “Steeldusts,” and these horses later became known as Quarter Horses.

Monte Cristo Wild Horse Territory - NV

Picture of wild horses on a hillside on the Monte Cristo Wild Horse Territory.The Monte Cristo Wild Horse Territory (WHT) is administered by the Ely Ranger District, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

Curly horses are found within this territory, as they were introduced in the area by Tom Dixon in 1874.

Photo from USFS website

 

Northumberland Wild Horse Territory - NV

The Northumberland Wild Horse Territory (WHT) is administered by the Austin/Tonopah Ranger District, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

Paradise Peak Wild Horse Territory - NV

The Paradise Peak Wild Horse Territory (WHT) administered by the Austin/Tonopah Ranger District, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

Historic account claims that horses on the south end of the Paradise Range (Paradise Peak WHT) were true mustangs: “true horses that was wild of the mustang breed” (Walter Pierson, retired Forest Service District Ranger). During 1967 to 1971, the Forest Service made an attempt to remove trespass horses from Forest Service land in Central Nevada. The horses in the Paradise Range were not attempted to be removed because they were of the wild horse nature. They numbered 20 to 30 head. They were primarily found around Goldyke and BC Wells, and they wintered in Ione Valley and Gabbs Valley.

Powell Mountain Wild Horse Territory - CA

The Powell Mountain Wild Horse Territory (WHT) is administered by the Bridgeport Ranger District, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

Panoramic picture of wild horses on a hillside with a mountain in the background on the Powell Mountain Wild Horse Territory.

According to local accounts, there were no known horses in the Powell Mountain WHT until Amos Green at Tweedy Meadows lost his horses in 1855. Also, Perry Morgan, once owner of the Flying M Ranch, turned out his horses when he joined the Army during WWI. Horses then remained wild in the territory with Mr. Morgan periodically turning out studs and gathering horses until the 1930’s. The type of horses originally turned out is not documented. There were approximately 23 horses in the territory when the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act was passed in 1971.

The Powell Mountain WHT is managed for an appropriate management level of 29 horses. Bay is the dominant color in the herd. Genetic testing of the herd reveals similarity with the North American Gaited breeds.

Shoshone Wild Horse Territory - NV

The Shoshone Wild Horse Territory (WHT) is administered by the Austin/Tonopah Ranger District, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

The actual origin of wild horses in the Shoshone WHT is unknown. Most horses within this area seem to have established themselves around the mid-1900s through escape and abandonment. Because of the steep terrain and large area, escaped horses were difficult to recapture and quickly reverted back to a wild free-roaming nature. Several ranching operations in the Shoshone WHT area had, on several occasions, been accused of trespassing for unauthorized horses grazing Forest Service land.

Three Sisters Wild Horse Territory - OR

The Three Sisters Wild Horse Territory (WHT) is administered by the Goosenest Ranger District, Klamath National Forest, Oregon
 

Large herds were found near Three Sisters since at least the early 1900’s. The source of the original horses in this area is unknown. However, many horses escaped or were released by ranchers, miners, and soldiers, which mixed with existing herds. Indications are that in about 1950 a thoroughbred stud was released into the herd.

Over the years this and other herds were used to replenish local ranch stock and to provide supplemental income for the local ranchers. During World War I, large numbers of horses from the Three Sisters area were rounded up and sold to the Army.

When the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act was passed in 1971, population of the Three Sisters herd was 7 horses. All of the horses were bay.

The Three Sisters WHT is managed for an appropriate management level of 15 horses.

Tierney Wild Horse Territory - NV

The Tierney Wild Horse Territory (WHT) is administered by the Austin/Tonopah Ranger District, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

It is believed that wild horses on the Tierney WHT were once owned by the Yomba Indian Tribe.

Toiyabe Wild Horse Territory - NV

The Toiyabe Wild Horse Territory (WHT) is administered by the Austin/Tonopah Ranger District, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

The history of wild horses in the Toiyabe WHT has been clouded and confused by a chronic history of unauthorized used of private horses on the National Forest land. This situation of unauthorized use within the area by privately owned horses could have resulted in mistakes in the actual inventories of wild horses used to establish the designation of the Toiyabe WHT.

The Forest Service record regarding horses in this area can be traced back to 1951. Many horses had been turned loose and allowed to run wild on the open range. These horses and their use of National Forest lands were not authorized under permit. The horses belonged to several area ranchers and to members of the Yomba Indian tribe. From 1951 to 1971, the Forest Service took steps to document ownership of the horses and notified owners to remove them. None of the violators made a good faith effort to remove their unauthorized horses. Finally, in 1968, one of the ranchers, John Casey, was tried in a U.S. Magistrate’s court and was ordered to remove his horses from National Forest land. After Mr. Casey’s conviction and removal of unauthorized horses, the other violators also removed their animals. There is documentation that no horses were in the area from 1971 to 1973. However, there is also contradictory documentation stating the presence of 33-35 horses during the same time frame.

Since 1974, the Toiyabe WHT has been reported as having no wild horses present within its boundaries.

Toquima Wild Horse Territory - NV

Picture of wild horses.The Toquima Wild Horse Territory (WHT) is administered by the Austin/Tonopah Ranger District, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

Spaniards brought horses with them to the Nevada area in the 16th and 17th centuries. In addition, progeny from strays of early emigrants, abandoned and stray animals from early mining booms, and horses allowed to roam by homesteaders contribute to the current wild horse population in the Toquima territory.

Many of the abandoned animals were the result of economic slumps and periodic droughts which plagued the early settlers.

Prior to the passing of the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971, it was common practice for local ranchers to periodically release studs with “good blood” to “upgrade” the herds. Roundups would occasionally be held and suitable animals would either be sold or kept on the ranch, trained, and used as cow ponies.

Photo from USFS website

White Mountain Wild Horse Territory - CA/NV

The White Mountain Wild Horse Territory (WHT) is administered by the White Mountain Ranger District, Inyo National Forest, and is located on the California/Nevada border approximately 7 miles east of Benton, CA.

The origin of the White Mountain herd is unknown, but it is thought to date back to the establishment of the first ranches in the adjoining Fish Lake Valley area of Nevada. Members of the Chiatovich and Patterson families - who were early ranchers in the area - claimed that wild horses were present at least as far back as the 1870s. There have also been numerous instances reported of both common ranch horses and blooded stock escaping or being turned out into the White Mountains.

One of the more interesting stories of genetic infusions into the White Mountain herd was related by Helen McGee, niece of the Paiute Indian known as “Gray-haired Johnny.” According to Ms. McGee, Johnny was an excellent horse doctor, skilled in the use of herbal medicines. During the early 1900’s, whenever he went down to the Southern California racetracks, he was in great demand by race horse owners because he used special herbs for quickly healing newly gelded or injured race horses. In return for his services, he was given thoroughbred stallions which he would take to the Whites to replace some of the resident stallions.