Resource Management

Wildlife Program

A juvenile Swainson's Hawk in light phase.Today a wildlife biologist's job is much more complex than just managing for game species.

With the creation in 1973 of the Endangered Species Act, federal and state land managers expanded their focus from managing public wildlife programs for specific species to a more all encompassing ecosystems management direction requiring the integration of wildlife needs with those of timber managers, grazers, miners, recreationists and others.

Range Management

Managing the Range on the Modoc National Forest goes back to the earliest days before the National Forests to the Forest Reserves.  Local ranchers petitioned Washington to intervene in the problems created by herds coming up from the Central Valley and overgrazing the land.  The modern day Range Management Program grew out of the need to protect the resources and increase the carrying capacity.

Wild Horse Program

Shows four identical large wild horsesWild horses have been present on the Devil's Garden Plateau since shortly after the first pioneers arrived. Many of the early horses escaped or were released when their usefulness as domestic animals ended. The first roundup occurred as early as 1889. In later years, local ranchers and native tribal members turned horses out to graze and then gathered them as needed. Devil's Garden Horses contributed to the liberation of Europe in WWI. Not all were ever captured. Learn more on the Devil's Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory webpage.


View the Modoc Soil Survey

Travel Management

The Modoc National Forest (MDF) has completed the Travel Analysis Process (TAP) and draft Travel Analysis Report (TAR) as required under 36 CFR 212.5(b)(1), Subpart A: Administration of the National Forest Travel System.

Fire Management

Thinning forest stands and reducing the amount of ground fuels will improve forest health andd reduce the threat of severe wildfires. The top priority for the forest is Community Protection and Healthy Forests.

Botany Program

Spiked LarkspurThe Modoc is home to thousands of plant species. Some people would say hundreds of plants and hundreds of weeds.

But what is a weed if not a plant who's purpose has not yet been discovered?

Minerals Management

The mineral wealth of the National Forests is held in trust for the use of the American people. Taking minerals, rock, gravel, soil, etc. from the forest requires permit. Different permits are issued for different minerals.

If you would like to prospect on the forest or if your goal is to eventually stake a minerals claim on forest land, your first stop is the Forest Minerals Manager.  The Minerals Manager's office is located within the Forest Supervisor's Office in Alturas.  He or she can assist you with the proper applications and paperwork for this process and answer all your questions.

If you would like to remove lava rock or gravel, etc. from the forest you will need a forest products permit. Depending on the location and quantity you require, a permit for this purpose is available through the forest products permit process. All commercial permits for forest rock and gravel go through the Forest Minerals Manager.

If you would like to dig for obsidian for personal use, you will need a free use authorization permit. Free Use Authorizations are available at:

  • Modoc National Forest Supervisor's Office - 225 West 8th Street Alturas, CA 96101


Timber Management

For information on wood cutting see our page on Fuelwood Permits.


Timber Sale Contracting Questions - Phone: 530-233-8725