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Northern California District
Release Date: 07/07/10
Contacts: Jeff Fontana , 530-252-5332  
  Erin Curtis , 916-978-4622  
News Release No. CA-N-10-83

BLM Issues Decision for Twin Peaks Wild Horse & Burro Gather

The Bureau of Land Management’s Eagle Lake Field Office today issued a decision to remove excess wild horses and burros from the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area near Susanville, Calif., to protect range conditions and wild horses.

“The current population of wild horses and burros in Twin Peaks is far above the number the range can handle,” said Northern California District Manager Nancy Haug. “Our horses are healthy and we want them to remain healthy. We must manage the population at appropriate levels to maintain a balance on the range.”

BLM plans to gather as many of the total population as possible (2,300 horses and 280 burros), remove an estimated 1,855 excess wild horses and 205 burros for placement in the adoption program or long term pastures, and return to the range an estimated 450 horses and 72 burros in the HMA to achieve ecological balance, according to Haug.  This will bring the population of horses and burros to appropriate management levels established through the Eagle Lake Resource Management Plan, developed with full public involvement in 2008.

The 800,000-acre Twin Peaks Herd Management Area lies along the California-Nevada border northeast of Susanville. The roundup will take place in August and September, using helicopters to move horses and burros into capture sites. The animals will be gathered at a slow pace and moved over distances that they can withstand.  Animals will be kept at these sites for a short time before being transported to temporary holding facilities.  To slow the growth rate of the herd in the future, horses will be released back into the herd management area at a ratio of 60 stallions to 40 mares. The mares will be treated with a fertility control drug. 
Animals removed from the HMA will be available for adoption, including at several special adoption events. “These spectacular horses have desirable traits, and we expect them to be in high demand,” Haug said.

Those that are not adopted will be cared for in long term pastures, where they retain their “wild” status and protection under the 1971 Wild and Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act. The BLM does not send any horses to slaughter or allow them to be sent to slaughter.

More details on the roundup and opportunities for public visitation will be available soon from BLM.  The gather and impacts are described and analyzed in the Twin Peaks Gather Plan Final Environmental Assessment (EA). The EA and the Decision Record are posted on the BLM website at The BLM also will provide updates and information at the same web address on a regular basis throughout the course of the roundup.


Last updated: 07-08-2010