View over Devil's Garden in Modoc National Forest, CA October 2018. The area currently contains over 3000 wild horses, 2000 more than the area can support. Invasive nutrient poor non-native grasses are choking out the plants that sustain grazing, while the overpopulation of the herd is pushing the wild horses into private property searching for water and feed. 

The helicopter  veers sharply over the corral before returning to the open area to find more of the herd. 

The helicopter drops in driving the horses into a v-shaped chute covered in camouflage netting as not to distract the horses during the gather. 

Lava rock covers the steppe, making traditional means of wild horse management near impossible. The craggy ground is covered in an invasive African grass with little nutritional value, choking out native nutrient rich grazing, 

The horses attempt escape, while the wranglers use diversionary tactics to prevent injury. 

Everyone on the gather, wranglers included, were required to stay hidden and motionless while the horses were being moved into the trap. 

Lead wrangler Troy surveys the horse trap and supervises the other wranglers in the outfit.   

Wranglers kill time early in the morning before the round up begins. 

Wild Horses in the makeshift corral awaiting to be shooed into the next trailer. 

Wranglers use swats to encourage the wild horses to move into the trailer. The wranglers would wave the swats on the outside of the fence to create a sense of movement. 

Once loaded into the trailer, captured horses are  transported a few miles closer to town in a holding area maintained by the Forest Service.

Trailers transporting the horses to the holding area have to navigate rough conditions on the only dirt road leading to the plateau.

Behind the blind constructed for the public viewing of the horse gather, participants were limited to an area roughly 8 feet wide. 

Lead wrangler Troy sits with the public after most of the days work is done.

Reluctant to speak to the press, wrangler Troy declined to give his full name and any commentary on the operation. All questions were directed to Modoc National Forest PR representative Ken Sandusky. 

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