The Hickison Herd Management Area and Burro Territory are along the east side of the Big Smokey Valley, north and south of U.S. Highway 50 east of Austin, Nev. The Hickison HMA and Territory cover an areas of about 74,000 acres. The nearly 18,000 acres north of Hwy. 50 are inaccessible to burros because of highway right-of-way fences. The HMA and Territory are managed for wild burros only.
The BLM Final Multiple Use Decision for the Kingston and Simpson Park allotments issued in 2005 established the appropriate management level (AML) for the Hickison HMA as 16-45 animals for 5 months of the year on the portion administed by the BLM. The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest is planning to finalize the AML for the Burro Territory portion of the area (and the remaining 7 months of the year) within the next year; however, no final AML has been established for that area at this time. The Hickison HMA AML was established for 5 months of the year to take into account that according to inventory records available at the time, burros spent approximately 40 percent of their time on BLM and 60 percent of ther time on U.S. Forest Service administered lands.
Gather and/or removal activities have not occurred within either the Hickison HMA or Territory since passage of the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.
The current population for the combined area is 112 burros, based on a direct count made during a helicopter inventory conducted in March 2014.