Callaghan Complex and New Pass/Ravenswood HMA
Location: The New Pass/Ravenswood HMA is located 35 miles northwest of Austin, Nevada in Lander and Churchill Counties. The HMA encompasses 285,800 acres, is 18 miles wide and 24 miles long, and consists of north-south trending mountain ranges surrounded by valley bottoms. The New Pass Range provides the western boundary of the HMA, with the Ravenswood Mountains in the eastern portion of the HMA. Antelope Valley is located between these ranges. A small portion of the HMA exists within public lands administered by the Carson City District. The remainder is located on public lands administered by the Mount Lewis Field Office (MLFO).
The Callaghan HMA is located northeast of the town of Austin, Nevada and encompasses over 156,230 acres of public land. The HMA is approximately 27 miles long and 16 miles wide. The entire Callaghan HMA lies in Lander County at the north end of the Toiyabe Mountain Range.
The Bald Mountain HMA is approximately 139,879 acres in size, and covers an area that is 15 miles wide and 22 miles long. The southern boundary of the Carico Lake Allotment serves as the southern boundary of the HMA, which borders the Callaghan HMA to the south. The HMA is also in close proximity to the Rocky Hills HMA to the east, and South Shoshone HMA to the west.
The Rocky Hills Herd Management Area is located 54 miles southwest of Elko, Nevada in Eureka County, and encompasses 84,315 acres. The HMA is 15 miles wide, and 13 miles long and includes the Rocky Hills, and the northern portion of the Simpson Park Mountain Range. This HMA is in close proximity to the Bald Mountain, Callaghan, and Roberts Mountain HMAs, and mixing among the herds is likely.
Acreage: The entire Complex of the four HMAs is 640,148 acres
Elevation: Elevations range between 5,400 feet in the Valleys to over 10,000 at the top of Mount Callaghan.
Topography/vegetation: The proposed gather area is located within Central Nevada within the Great Basin. Much of the rangeland at lower elevations consists of salt desert shrub and Wyoming big sagebrush communities. Pinyon and Juniper are prevalent in the mid and upper elevations. Precipitation averages 6-10 inches per year in the valleys and up to 16+ inches in the mountains. Drought conditions may occur 1 out of every 3-4 years. These HMAs are comprised of north/south trending mountain ranges surrounded by wide valley bottoms. Perennial streams are infrequent, and most waters consist of small springs, ponds and wells or springs developed to include pipelines and troughs.
Wildlife: Within the proposed project area, numerous species of wildlife occur. Mule deer, pronghorn antelope, mountain lions, coyotes, and bobcats are the main game and fur bearing species present. Chukar, California quail, morning doves, and cottontail rabbits constitute the major upland game species. In addition, a variety of non-game mammals, birds, and reptiles occur in the project area. Very common shrub nesting species include the sage thrasher, sage sparrow, Brewer’s sparrow, horned lark and meadow lark. The loggerhead shrike, common nighthawk, various wrens, warblers, larks and swallows are all common. . Species that nest in aspen communities include the northern goshawk, broad-tailed hummingbird, northern flicker, house wren, American robin, warbling vireo, yellow-rumped warbler, junco, western wood pewee, lazuli bunting, and western tanager. Common reptilian wildlife in the Complex includes collared lizard, Great Basin fence lizard, northern sagebrush lizard, horned lizard, Great Basin whiptail, Great Basin gopher snake, and Great Basin rattlesnake.
Herd Size: The following table dispays the current estimated population within these HMAs:
Horse Colors: These HMAs support wild horses that exhibit the full spectrum of colors of wild horses including the most common colors of bay, brown, sorrel and black, but also include the more brilliant colors of palomino, grulla, pinto, roan and Appaloosa.
Size of Horses: Wild horses within these HMAs average 14-15 hands in height and weigh 900-1,100 pounds as adults.
History: Wild horses in these areas are traced back to domestic ranch horses used for ranching, transportation and mining when the areas were settled. Genetic analysis indicates that these horses are similar to domestic breeds with indications of Light Racing and Riding Breeds, North American Gaited Breeds, Morgan, Old Spanish, Old World Iberian and Oriental Breeds. The genetic variability of all of these herds is high and no signs of inbreeding are present in the genetics analysis.
The Battle Mountain District Wild Horse and Burro Program
The Battle Mountain District manages 28 Herd Management Areas that encompass about 3.6 million acres. There are approximately 4,300 wild horses and burros within the Battle Mountain District.
The BLM as a whole manages 180 Herd Management Areas that encompass approximately 32 million acres in ten western states. The BLMs goals for Wild Horse and Burro management include management of healthy herds in balance with healthy rangelands within the concept of multiple use.