U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
|Battle Mountain HMAs|
The Battle Mountain Field Office, Shoshone Eureka Planning Area contains 12 Herd Management Areas (HMAs) totaling approximately 1,800,000 acres. The 2007-estimated population of these 12 HMAs is approximately 3,188 wild horses, and 108 wild burros. The BMFO only manages one burro area, the Hickison Burro HMA.
Appropriate Management Levels (AMLs) have been established for all Herd Management Areas, in order to promote a thriving natural ecological balance, and multiple use relationships with other rangeland users. AMLs are established or adjusted following the collection of monitoring and other data, analysis by an interdisciplinary team, and coordination with the interested public.
Many HMAs encompass mountain ranges and include mountain browse, meadow, mahogany and pinyon and juniper vegetation types interspersed with perennial streams and springs. Wild horses and burros also use sparsely vegetated, rocky mountains with limited water. Winter habitat typically consists of valley bottoms and lower elevations that may support winterfat or other salt desert shrub vegetation.
The primary vegetation types used by wild horses consist of Wyoming or Mountain big sagebrush with an understory of perennial grass. Wild burros are able to thrive in more desert type conditions than wild horses. Wild horse and burro populations generally move throughout or between HMAs in response to a number of factors.
Water availability is a key influence to wild horse use during summer months. Wild horses will generally travel much farther to water than will livestock. In many HMAs water sources are plentiful and supplied by perennial streams, springs, and human constructed water developments such as livestock water tanks and ponds. In other cases, water sources are limiting, and in drought years, wild horses may have difficulty accessing sufficient water, especially if the population exceeds the Appropriate Management Level (AML). In these cases, wild horse distribution is closely tied to the location of the available waters, which become very important to the health of the herd.
In addition to the wild horses, the Herd Management Areas are often utilized by domestic cattle and domestic sheep. Wildlife species occurring in the areas include mule deer, sage grouse, chukar, coyote, mountain lion, bobcat, pronghorn antelope and numerous other small mammals, birds, and reptiles.
The average HMA population managed by the BMFO is approximately 220 wild horses, with the average HMA size 114,300 acres.
Augusta Mountains Herd Management Area
The Augusta Mountains Herd Management Area (HMA) includes portions of the Battle Mountain, Winnemucca, and Carson City BLM Field offices. The entire HMA is currently administered by the Winnemucca Field Office. A little less than one third of the 176,000 acre HMA exists within the Battle Mountain Field Office, Shoshone-Eureka Planning Area.
The HMA contains the Augusta Mountain Range through its center, surrounded by wide valley bottoms. Elevations range from 8450 feet at the peak of Mt. Moses, down to 4973 feet in the valleys below. The Battle Mountain portion of the HMA spans 14 miles long by 11 miles wide.
The current estimated population for the entire HMA is approximately 300 wild horses. The Appropriate Management Level (AML) has been established at 308 wild horses.
The horses in the Augusta HMA vary in color, and include many dun and sorrel horses. Other colors include black, bay, buckskin, brown, chestnut, palomino, grulla (mouse colored), and red roan.
Bald Mountain Herd Management Area
The Bald Mountain Herd Management Area (HMA) is located approximately 40 miles southeast of Battle Mountain, Nevada and is just a few miles east of the South Shoshone HMA. The Bald Mountain HMA shares its southern boundary with the Callaghan HMA, and encompasses the northern end of the Toiyabe Range. The HMA totals 139,879 acres, and spans approximately 14 miles wide by 20 miles long. The elevation ranges from 8,500 feet at the top of Bald Mountain down to 5,500 feet in the valleys that surround the mountain range. Numerous canyons and streams dissect the mountains.
The most recent census was completed spring 2007, and showed a current population of 510 horses. The AML for this HMA was established in 2005 as a range of 129-215 wild horses.
The last wild horse gather took place in this HMA in 1982. It is suspected that a great deal of movement occurs among the horses from this HMA and the South Shoshone and Callaghan HMAs. The horses in this area are relatively large horses exhibiting various color characteristics such as gray, roan, sorrel, and pinto.
Callaghan Herd Management Area
The Callaghan Herd Management Area (HMA) is located approximately six miles north of Austin, Nevada. The area is approximately 156,229 acres in size and is 16 miles wide and 28 miles long. The HMA shares its north boundary with the Bald Mountain HMA, and contains a portion of the north-south trending Toiyabe Range. Elevations range from 10,200 feet at Mt. Callaghan, to 6,500 feet in Grass Valley to the east of the mountains and the Reese River Valley to the west. The mountain range is dissected by canyons and streams.
During the capture of wild horses, conducted from February 6, through February 22, 1997, a total of 1,412 horses were captured within and outside the boundaries of the Callaghan HMA. Of the total captured 1,074 of the horses were shipped to Palomino Valley Center north of Sparks, Nevada for preparation into the adoption program. The remainder, ages 10 to 23 years old, were released back inside the Callaghan HMA.
The most recent gather was completed in August 2002. A total of 1,014 wild horses were captured, and 147 released back to the range. The remainder were transported to the Palomino Valley Center for inclusion into the National Adoption Program.
The animals that were captured in the Callaghan HMA are relatively large in size. Although most of the animals captured were bay (37%) brown (23%) and sorrel (17%), some paint (pinto), buckskin, grulla (mouse color), dun and Appaloosa horses were captured from the area. A few curly horses were also captured.
The current population of the Callaghan HMA according to estimates from a 2005 census are 786 wild horses. A gather to achieve the AML is currently being planned for winter 2008 or 2009.
Desatoya Herd Management Area
The Desatoya Herd Management Area (HMA) is located approximately eighteen miles west of Austin, Nevada. The area is approximately 157,000 acres in size and is 18 miles wide and 24 miles long.
The Desatoya HMA is typical of the Great Basin region with steep north and south trending mountain ranges separated by large sweeping valley bottoms. The area consists of the Desatoya Mountain Range and varies in elevation from 9,900 feet at Desatoya Peak to 6,100 feet in Smith Creek Valley to the southeast and Edwards Creek Valley to the northwest.
The Desatoya HMA is currently administrated by the Carson City BLM Field Office. AML has been established at 180 wild horses.
Diamond Mountain Herd Management Area
The Diamond Mountain Herd Management Area is located east and north of the town of Eureka, Nevada. The Diamond, Diamond Hills South and Diamond Hills North Herd Management Areas (HMAs) are all part of the Diamond Mountain Range. The horses move freely between the HMAs. The only reason that there are three separate HMAs is because the Diamond Mountains are administered by three different Field Offices. The Diamond Mountains is the highest mountain range in the Shoshone Eureka Planning Area and wild horses can be found at elevations to 10,000 feet.
The mountain range is approximately 60 miles long and 12 miles wide. The Complex containing all of the three HMAs covers over 236,000 acres. Newark Valley lies east of the mountain range and Diamond Valley is to the west at 5,700 feet in elevation. During periods of heavy snowfall, wild horses will move off the mountain into the valleys. As a matter of interest, the northern end of Diamond Valley contains a large alkali (salt) flat, which is common in many valley bottoms in Nevada.
During a capture of wild horses, conducted from August 1 through August 23, 1997, 397 horses were captured within and outside the boundaries of the HMAs. Of the total captured 1,177 of the horses were transported to Palomino Valley Center north of Sparks, Nevada for preparation into the adoption program. The remainder, ages 10 to 28 years old, were released back inside the HMA boundaries.
The most recent gather was completed in 2004, in conjunction with the other two HMAs within the Complex. The gather involved the capture of 643 wild horses followed by the release of 116 wild horses back to the range. Fertility control was also implemented on 86 of the released mares.
The primary colors of the horses captured from within the Diamond, Diamond Hills North & Diamond Hills South included bays, sorrels, and browns. Other colors included palomino, buckskin, chestnut, grey, variations of roan, and pinto/paint.
The current estimated population on the Battle Mountain side of the mountain range is 129 horses. The Appropriate Management Level (AML) is 151.
Fish Creek Herd Management Area
The Fish Creek Herd Management Area (HMA) is located just a few miles south of Eureka, Nevada in the Antelope and Little Smokey Valleys and in the Antelope and Fish Creek Mountains. The area is approximately 252,813 acres in size and is 25 miles wide and 28 miles long. The majority of the HMA is comprised of north-south trending mountain ranges that include all or portions of the Fish Creek Range, the Mahogany Hills, and the Antelope Range. Elevations range from 6,030 feet in the wide valley bottoms, reaching 10,100 feet at Nine Mile Peak.
The colors of the horses in the Fish Creek HMA are predominantly: bay, brown, sorrel, red roan, and blue roan. There are a few buckskin, gray, grulla (mouse color), and palomino horses in the HMA.
The Fish Creek HMA was also the first home of the curly horse. These animals were introduced to Eureka County, Nevada by Tom Dixon in 1874. Some evidence of this bloodline still exists in the horses in the HMA.
During a capture operation, conducted from January 14 through January 28, 1998, 621 horses were captured from within and outside the boundaries of the HMA. 479 of the horses that were captured were transported to Palomino Valley Center north of Sparks, Nevada for preparation into the adoption program. The remainder of the horses were released back inside the HMA. The gathered horses included many sorrels, red and blue roans, black, brown, white, and gray horses. A total of 11 curly horses, and two appaloosas were captured.
Drought emergency gathers were conducted in 2000 and 2004 before the Appropriate Management Level was established that would have allowed a comprehensive gather to take place. A total of 600 wild horses were captured and removed from the range in 2000 to prevent death due to starvation and lack of water. An additional 55 wild horses were removed in 2004 for the same reasons.
The AML for this area was established in 2004 at 107-180 wild horses. Gathers were conducted in July 2005 and February 2006 to achieve the AML. A total of 309 wild horses were removed during these gathers. Observations since the gathers indicate that the rangeland vegetation is recovering from the past overuse by wild horses. The current population estimate for the HMA is 79 wild horses. Wild horses are known to move between the Fish Creek HMA and Seven Mile HMA, located south of the Fish Creek HMA.
Hickison Burro Herd Management Area
The Hickison Burro Herd Management Area (HMA) is managed in conjunction with the Hickison Burro Wild Burro Territory located on the adjacent USFS lands. The BLM portion approximates 70,000 acres in size, which is one of the smaller HMAs administered by the BMFO. Additionally, the U.S. Highway 50 right-of-way fence cut the HMA in half, limiting the habitat used by the burros to the southern portion which is only around 52,000 acres in size. Currently, there are approximately 108 burros and 1 wild horse inhabiting the HMA and WHT south of U.S. Highway 50.
The BLM established the AML for the HMA as a range of 16-45 burros in 2004. The USFS will be establishing an AML on the WHT portion in the coming years.
The habitat of this area is droughty, with sparse vegetation and water resources. The burros must move throughout the HMA to locate forage through the various times of the year.
The burros currently have available to them three sources of water: Joe’s Well, Burro Well, and the Spencer Hot Springs. All three of the water sources are located within the same general area in close proximity to each other. The Burro Well is located 1.2 miles north east of the hot springs. Joe’s Well is 3.2 miles northeast of the hot springs These two waters are actually located just within the USFS boundary. The three water sources are the only recorded water sources available to the burros. There water needs likely decrease substantially in winter, and they may obtain sufficient moisture from forage and snow. In the summer months, water is obviously critical.
In 2000, the National Mustang Association (NMA) donated equipment and labor to install a functional solar array and pump to the Burro Well. In 2002, the NMA again donated equipment and labor to fix the Pete’s Well (Joe’s Well), and install solar array and pump. The NMA published articles about these achievements in their newsletter “Mustang”.
These wells provide drinking water for domestic livestock, the wild burro herd, pronghorn antelope, mule deer, numerous other mammals such as coyote, bobcat, rabbit, badger and thousands of resident and migratory birds. The wells are currently being pumped from depths ranging from 120 to 175 feet. These water sources and the hot springs themselves are the only water sources available to the burros and other users.
The two most recent census flights (1998 and 2002) have found the burros distributed from the very eastern portion at Hickison Summit, in the vicinity of the hot springs, and in the draws and canyons to the south.
Once of the earliest recorded flights by BLM personnel took place in 1975. Eleven burros were observed east of the hot springs near Pete’s (Joe’s) Well.
In 1977, 15 burros were counted from the ground near Spencer Hot Springs. During the 1980’s the burros were being shot by recreational visitors to the hot springs, and in 1993 approximately 7 burros were transplanted from a Burro area managed by the Winnemucca BLM to the Hickison Burro HMA.
Since the burros were transplanted from Winnemucca in 1993, they have prospered. The population totaled 41 during the 2002 census flight. Only 25 burros were counted during the 1998 flight. The population appears to be increasing at the BMFO average of 17.5% annually, and the 2007 population is estimated at 108 burros.
Burros do not have the same reproductive or mating cycles of wild horses. Wild burros are polyestrous and can breed and give birth throughout various times of the year. The social structure is not the same as wild horses either. A jack burro (male) does not tend a harem of jennies (females) as stud horses would with mares. The social structure is relatively loose, and bonds usually exist between a jenny and her young. Jacks may remain alone or in small groups unless they locate a female in estrous at which times, large groups of animals may be observed for short periods of time.
This small burro population is the only one administered by the BMFO. Local residents enjoy viewing the burros in the wild both as a stand alone activity and in conjunction with recreational activities at the Spencer Hot Springs.
New Pass/Ravenswood Herd Management Area
The New Pass/Ravenswood Herd Management Area (HMA) is located approximately 35 miles northwest of Austin, Nevada. The area is approximately 260,336 acres in size and is 18 miles wide and 24 miles long. The HMA consists of north-south trending mountains surrounded by valley bottoms. The New Pass Range provides the western boundary of the area, with the Ravenswood Mountains in the eastern portion of the HMA. The Antelope and Reese River Valleys fall in between the mountain ranges at an elevation of 5,100 feet. The highest point in the HMA is New Pass Peak at 9,003 feet. A small portion of the area, the New Pass HMA is located within the boundary of the Carson City Field Office.
A wild horse gather of this HMA was conducted from August 19 through August 26, and October 21-30, 1994. The first portion of the gather was stopped because of extremely dry weather conditions and intolerable dust, which was deemed detrimental to the horses. The second half of the gather began after the area received some precipitation.
During this gather, 444 horses were captured from the New Pass/Ravenswood HMA. 221 of the horses that were captured were transported to Palomino Valley Center north of Sparks, Nevada for preparation into the adoption program. The remainder of the horses, ages 6 to 22 years old, were released back inside the HMA from which they were captured.
In August 1999, the Antelope wildfire burned 187,000 acres, burning 124,000 acres within the New Pass/Ravenswood HMA, affecting approximately 44% of the habitat within the HMA. An emergency gather was completed to remove the wild horses from the burned areas, protecting them from starvation, as well as preventing impacts by wild horses to the rehabilitation work.
A total of 945 wild horses were removed from the HMA, leaving an estimated 45 wild horses within the unburned portions of the HMA. A large portion of the horses captured were very thin, and suffering from lack of forage. The BLM worked through the next few years to complete seeding and rehabilitation work of the burned areas. Many areas were successfully rehabilitated and today support productive stands of crested wheatgrass and other seeded and native species. Unfortunately, the seeding efforts within a large portion of Antelope Valley were not as successful, and today, many areas are dominated by annual weeds.
It is suspected that wild horses move into the area from other HMAs located west of the New Pass/Ravenswood HMA, and the current population is estimated to be 671 wild horses. An AML of 476 has been established for this HMA, and a gather is tentatively scheduled to be completed winter 2008.
Wild horses within this HMA are average size, and comprised of colors that include bay, brown, black, and sorrel. Some roan horses and a few curly horses have been noted within the HMA.
Roberts Mountain Herd Management Area
The Roberts Mountain Herd Management Area (HMA) is located approximately 30 miles northwest of Eureka, Nevada. The terrain within the area varies from level valleys to high mountains, with elevations ranging from 5,500 to 7,500 feet. This HMA is around 100,000 acres in size, spanning approximately 17 miles long by 10 miles wide at its widest points. The Roberts Mountain HMA shares its eastern boundary with the Whistler Mountain HMA.
The Appropriate Management Level (AML) for the Roberts Mountain HMA has been established at 150 horses. The current estimated population is 450, according to a census completed in May 2007. The HMA is scheduled to be gathered in September 2007.
The most recent gather was completed in July 2001. During this gather, 449 wild horses were removed from the range, and 131 released back to the HMA following the gather. The highlight of the gather was a special trapsite adoption event that was held after the gather. A total of 36 wild horses were adopted to individuals from the local area, as well as Utah, Idaho, and Nevada.
The animals that were captured in the Roberts Mountain HMA varied in color and confirmation, but are generally some of the larger horses within the Shoshone-Eureka Planning Area. Many of the horses gathered in 2001 were palomino (6%), bay (40%), buckskin (17%), sorrel (13%) and chestnut (8%). Other colors included dun, cremello, gray black and roan.
Wild horses of the Roberts Mountain HMA are some of the finest wild horses managed from the Battle Mountain Field Office. Size of the horses is typically larger than other wild horses, averaging 15 hands. Conformation of the animals is very good, with well-muscled shoulders and hindquarters reflective of the working stock ancestry.
During the 2001 gather, it was also noted by wild horse and burro staff that the mares within the HMA were exceptional and attentive mothers to the foals. Wild horses within the pens also appeared to have an unusual tolerance for human activity and were not as agitated as horses from other HMA have been observed to be. A trapsite adoption was held in conjunction with this gather. During the period that the BLM staff cared for the horses prior to the event, the wild horses gentled quickly and were able to be touched and hand fed through the fencing. They were curious and interested in the human activity. Reports from adopters of the 2001 Roberts Mountain HMA wild horses indicate that they have extraordinary demeanor, are quick to learn, intelligent and gentle easier than expected.
The next gather is currently scheduled to take place in January 2008, at which time, another special trapsite adoption will be conducted to showcase these great horses.
Rocky Hills Herd Management Area
The Rocky Hills HMA is located 50 miles southwest of Carlin, Nevada in Eureka County. The HMA consists of 83,998 acres and is 15 miles wide by 13 miles long encompassing the Rocky Hills and Simpson Park Mountains. Elevations range from the highest point at 8,100 feet, down to 5,500 feet in elevation through out Denay and Horse Creek Valley that surround the Mountain ranges. The northern boundary of the HMA runs along JD Ranch Road and the western boundary along Grass Valley Road.
The AML for the Rocky Hills HMA has been established as a range of 86-143 wild horses. The current estimated population is 150 wild horses. The HMA will be gathered in conjunction with the Callaghan HMA, which is currently scheduled for 2009-10.Movement can occur and has likely occurred between the Callaghan, Bald Mountain, and Rocky Hills HMAs. Water in the HMA is somewhat limiting, and concentrated use occurs of Cadet Spring. Other sources available include a few springs and some perennial streams.
In July and August 1999, a series of lightning caused fires burned a total acreage in excess of 1.6 million acres within the state of Nevada.
The Trail Canyon fire occurred of Grass Valley, and burned the west slope of the Simpson Park Mountains and portions of the Rocky Hills, and Horse Creek Valley west of State Highway 278, and north of State Highway 50. The Trail Canyon fire impacted the Rocky Hills HMA and an area inhabited by wild horses known as the Simpson Park Mountains.
The fire burned primarily sagebrush/grass communities in the lower elevations of 5,500 to 6,500 feet. The higher elevations consisted of primarily Pinyon-Juniper plant communities throughout the elevations 6,500-7,500 feet. 39,759 acres, or 47% of the Rocky Hills HMA burned. Within the HMA, McClusky Creek, Pat Canyon, Fye Canyon, and several springs to include Dugout Spring, Cadet Trough Spring, and Ryepatch Spring burned in the Trail Canyon fire. The fire burned the vegetation up to and around all of the water sources within the Rocky Hills HMA.
An emergency gather was conducted in November 1999 to completely remove all wild horses within the HMA and place them in temporary holding facilities until rangeland conditions improved sufficiently to support the population. A total of 256 horses were removed and sent to Palomino Valley Center for processing into the adoption program and temporary holding. An estimated six horses were still remaining in the HMA post gather. The horses captured in the Rocky Hills HMA were relatively large in size, with some animals reaching 16 hands high. Several paint, several curly and many appaloosa horses were captured, in addition to those that were brown, bay, black, red roan, buckskin, chestnut and grulla (mouse colored). Many of the horses also exhibited draft horse characteristics, and several had curly haircoats.
Prior to shipping the horses, BLM WH&B Specialists marked some of the horses exhibiting historical or desirable traits. These horses were to be separated and held in a temporary holding facility near Jiggs, Nevada for 2-3 years or until it was determined that the range condition on the HMA had improved and was established enough to support the horses. Several other districts also gathered horses from their HMAs through emergency fire removals in 1999 and also held their horses at the temporary holding facility.
In October of 2002, the range conditions on the Rocky Hills HMA had improved sufficiently to allow the return of the horses. Seventy-four of the displaced horses were returned to the area. All of these horses were freezemarked in the traditional way (left side of neck) and were also freezemarked with a number on the left hip indicating which HMA the horse had originally been gathered from. The horses selected for release back into the HMA represent a wide variety of colors including paints, buckskins, grullas, appaloosas, red roans, and duns, and were large in size. Three stallions strongly exhibiting the curly traits were also released. One curly was an older sorrel. The other two were two-year-old studs, one red roan and one sorrel.
After the release, the estimated population was 94-98 wild horses within the Rocky Hills HMA. The total number of horses released back onto the HMA was 74. According to a February 2002 flight, 20 horses were observed in the HMA in the area of Geyser Creek and BLM staff estimated 20-24 animals remained within the HMA.
Census and Distribution
The most recent census was conducted in March 2005. These results were used to estimate the current population using 17.5% average annual rate of increase. During the census, 95 wild horses were observed.
Band size throughout the HMA averaged 6 wild horses with observations ranging from single animals to as many as 21.
In the eastern portion, the majority of the wild horses were observed in the hills southeast of Cadet Spring. Substantial amounts of grass was noted in many of the high elevations in the southern portion of the HMA, and in the Grass Valley Allotment portion of the HMA (due to the Trail Canyon fire rehabilitation). Snow remained only in higher elevations. The horses observed within the HMA were in good body condition. Several paint horses were observed in the eastern portion of the HMA. Two wild horses were observed outside of the HMA near the Willow Seeding. One of these may be the sorrel curly horse released in 2002 that has been observed in the area previously.
The Rocky Hills HMA boundaries were established in 1971. This area was originally known as the North Simpson Park Herd Area. The earliest documented census was conducted in the HMA in 1978. Between January 31, 1978 and February 28, 1978 a total of 84 horses were observed, fifteen of which were foals and yearlings.
In 1997, the Grass Valley allotment portion of the HMA was gathered along with the Callaghan HMA. A total of 447 horses were gathered from this area, of which 112 were selected for release back to the HMA.
The Rocky Hills HMA has a unique history because several of the horses in this area exhibit traits, which can be traced back to Tom Dixon who is accredited with introducing the Curly Horse to Nevada by releasing one in the vicinity of Pete Hanson Canyon near the Tonkin Ranch. However, it wasn’t until years later when the Damale family observed and pursued the curly-haired horses found in the wild herds near their ranches.
The Damale family who had purchased the 3 Bars (1899) and the Tonkin Ranches in the late 1800’s took an interest in the hardiness of the Curly horses seen on the harsh Nevada range, and began capturing and taming some of them, and integrating them with their domestic stock. In the 1950’s Benny Damale had a Chestnut Curly stallion with his mares, and further integrated the curly trait into a breeding program on the Dry Creek Ranch. The stallion became known as Copper D, with gentle disposition and desired characteristics this stallion became an important part of the Damales life and breeding program. It was reported during the 1960’s Tom and Pete Damale released Percheron, Morgan, Thoroughbred, Appaloosa, Shire, Belgian and Clydesdale in the vicinity of the JD and Tonkin Ranches. In the mid 1970’s Benny Damale turned Copper D loose allowing him to run free in the area of Bates Mountain. It is thought that horses in the area with curly hair are the progeny of Copper D. Ownership of the Dry Creek Ranch was signed over to Peter J. Damale’s sons prior to Benny’s death. Today, the ranch remains in the ownership of Peter and Tom Damale.
The curly traits, and especially the original curly genetics derived from Tom Dixon and the Damale family are highly sought after. Currently, researchers at Texas A&M are studying the curly gene in wild and domestic horses to learn more about the trait. Today, curly horses should still exist within the Rocky Hills HMA, have been observed within the Fish Creek HMA, and may be found in other herds. The Simpson Park Mountains is not a designated HMA, and all horses (including curly horses) were removed from the area in 2005.
Seven Mile Herd management Area
The Seven Mile Herd management Area (HMA) is approximately 30 miles southwest of Eureka, Nevada, and totals 97,479 acres in size. This Herd Management Area is comprised of a long narrow valley nestled between the Toiyabe National Forest Monitor Range to the west, and the Antelope Range to the east. The lowest points of the valley are 6,300 feet in elevation, reaching 10,105 feet at Nine Mile peak in the Antelope Mountain Range. This narrow HMA serves as the transition between the Antelope Valley to the north, and the Little Fish Lake Valley to the south. The HMA stretches 31 miles long, and is only 8 miles wide at its widest point.
The current population is estimated to be 92 horses. An AML range of 60-100 wild horses has been established for both the USFS Butler Basin Wild Horse Territory and the Seven Mile HMA.
The only wild horse gathers to be completed within this HMA were conducted during July 2005 and February 2006 as part of the Fish Creek Complex gather. A total of 174 wild horses were removed from both the Seven Mile HMA and the Butler Basin Wild Horse Territory during these gathers. The Seven Mile HMA is managed with the Butler Basin WHT (managed by the U.S. Forest Service) to ensure that the year round habitat needs of the wild horses are met. Wild horses move up in elevation onto the Butler Basin WHT during the summer months, and winter in the lower elevations of the Seven Mile HMA, which remains clear of snow for a larger portion of the winter. Wild horses from the Seven Mile HMA also move north into the Fish Creek HMA, and south into the Little Fish Lake HMA and WHT.
Wild horses within the Seven Mile HMA are large in size with good conformation and comprised of a variety of colors.
South Shoshone Herd Management
The South Shoshone Herd Management (HMA) is located approximately 30 miles south of Battle Mountain, Nevada. The majority of the HMA consists of the Shoshone Mountain Range -- north to south running ridges, and mountain peaks that reach 8,200 feet in elevation. East and west slopes graduate into valley bottoms of 4,800 feet in elevation, and are dissected with numerous canyons. The South Shoshone HMA is approximately 133,099 acres in size, and at it's widest points, spans 28 miles long, by 14 miles wide.
The most current census completed in May 2007, showed a current population within the HMA of approximately 379 horses. An AML range for this HMA has been established at 60-100 wild horses.
The South Shoshone HMA has never been gathered by the BLM. It is suspected that a great deal of movement occurs among the horses from this HMA and the Bald Mountain and Callaghan HMAs.
Wild horses within this HMA are large in size, and consist of primarily sorrel, bay, black, brown colorings with white markings on the face and legs.
A special trapsite adoption event in January 2008 is being planned to coincide with the proposed South Shoshone HMA gather in which qualified applicants will be able to adopt recently captured wild horses at the gather location. Contact the Battle Mountain Field Office for more information.
Whistler Herd Management Area
The Whistler Herd Management Area (HMA) is located just north west of Eureka and totals 43,247 acres in size. This HMA shares its west boundary with the Roberts Mountain HMA, and horse movement occurs between the two HMAs. The area spans sixteen miles long and seven miles wide at it's widest points. The area is comprised of a small range of mountains that reach 8,226 feet in elevation, surrounded by valleys of 5,900 feet in elevation.
The current population is estimated to be approximately 20-30 horses. The HMA has never been gathered according to District records. The AML is a range of 14-24 horses.
The horses of the Whistler Mountain HMA are similar in size and color to the Roberts Mountain HMA, and include horses of larger size and various colors including buckskin, palomino, bay brown and sorrel.