Big Summit Wild Horse Territory
The Big Summit Wild Horse Territory is managed by the Lookout Mountain Ranger District, Ochoco National Forest, Oregon.
Location and Habitat
The Big Summit Wild Horse Territory is located approximately 25 miles east of Prineville, Oregon, and totals about 25,434 acres entirely within the Ochoco National Forest.
It is the only wild horse population in the Pacific Northwest that is managed entirely by the US Forest Service.
The Big Summit Wild Horse Territory was established in 1975 in accordance with the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. This Act requires the Secretary of Agriculture to protect unbranded and unclaimed horses residing on public lands, "to protect and manage wild free-roaming horses and burros as components of the public lands," and to "manage wild free-roaming horses and burros in a manner that is designed to achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance on the public lands."
In 1975, there were approximately 60 horses residing on the Ochoco National Forest within ten different bands. The origins of the herd are not entirely clear. Early accounts describe local ranchers in the 1920s turning loose quality animals from a good breeding stock to ensure a future supply of good horses. In later years, thoroughbred stock may have been released into the area, as well.
The current appropriate management level for the Big Summit herd is between 55 and 65 horses.
The Ochoco National Forest is currently in the process of revising the herd management plan for the Big Summit Territory.
For More Information
Contact the Ochoco National Forest at (541) 416-6500 or visit the Big Summit Wild Horse Territory on the Ochoco National Forest and Crooked River National Grassland website for more information about the territory.