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State Herd Area: Three Sisters WHBT, California

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) coordinates with the Forest Service (FS) in the management of wild horses and burros located on FS land. The FS refers to the locations where wild horses and burros are managed as "Wild Horse and Burro Territories" (WHBT). The Forest Service administers 37 wild horse or burro territories located in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Utah. The Forest Service coordinates with the Bureau of Land Management in the management of adjacent territories as well as the removal of wild horses and burros in excess of the territory capacity. 


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


The Three Sisters WHT is located in California about 7 miles northeast of Tennant. The territory consists of 26,000 acres of Forest Service land.


Topography is open, rolling rangeland. Elevation ranges from 4,600 feet in the north to about 5,200 feet in the south. Temperatures during the winter may drop well below zero for short periods of time, and temperatures during the summer can reach 100° F. The horses spend the summer in the higher elevations of the southern part of the territory and move north during the winter.


Wildlife present within the territory include the Mt. Dome deer herd.


Livestock grazing occurs in the wild horse territory.


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.


Contact the Goosenest Ranger District at 530-398-4391.




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