The Flanigan HMA is located approximately 35 miles north of Reno/Sparks in the Virginia Mountains. The Flanigan HMA encompasses 17,101 acres of land. The topography of the HMA ranges from rolling hills at 4,265 feet above sea level to mountainous terrain over 8,000 feet.
Average temperatures for Reno, range from a low of 20 to 45 degrees Farenheight in December and January, to a range of 48 to 90 degrees in mid-summer. Slightly cooler temperatures occur as the elevation increases. Average annual precipitation for this area ranges from eight to 12 inches annually.
Access to this HMA is limited due to the steep, rugged terrain, and lack of functioning access roads. Wild horses can sometimes be seen outside the Flanigan HMA along Astor Pass Road (Highway 445) or on the maintained dirt road between Astor Pass and Doyle, California. The road to Doyle turns to the west approximately 2.5 miles after leaving the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation. Cottonwood Creek Road is at times washed out in places, and may even be impassable in a four-wheel drive vehicle.
Dominant vegetation consists of mountain big sage, snowberry, rabbittbrush, cheatgrass, Idaho fescue, bluebrunch wheatgrass, and bottlebrush squirreltail. Aspen and chokecherry stands are found along Cottonwood Creek and surrounding springs.
Because of the abundance of water and resulting different habitat types, many species of wildlife can be found in this HMA and include: rodents, raptors (including prairie falcons and golden eagles), sage-grouse, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, mule deer, and coyote.
Most of the horses are dark in color. Some are very hansome, featuring large bones and resembling a small draft or war horse such as the Fresian. The larger horses are over 16 hands (162 cc or 64 inches measured from the ground to the top of their withers). The majority of this HMA is steep and rocky, consequently many of these animals are quite adept at negotiating rugged terrain.
Dogskin Mountains/Granite Peak HMAs
The Dogskin Mountains and Granite Peak HMAs are located approximately 25 miles north of Reno/Sparks. Due to their proximity to each other (approximately three miles), some gene flow occurs between the horses in these HMAs. Usually young stallions wander alone or in loose association with several other stallions.
The Dogskin Mountain HMA is situated east of Bedell Flat in the Dogskin Mountain Range, and encompasses 6,895 acres of BLM-managed lands. The terrain of this HMA is very steep, rocky and rugged, which creates a horse that is sure-footed and incredibly agile.
The Granite Peak HMA is situated east of Bedell Flat in the Sand Hills and encompasses 3,886 acres of BLM-managed lands. Elevations range from 4,800 feet above sea level to 5,750 feet.
Dominant vegetation consists of mountain big sage, snowberry, rabbittbrush, cheatgrass, Idaho fescue, bluebrunch wheatgrass, and bottlebrush squirreltail. Pinyon pine and juniper are abundant in portions of this HMA.
Many species of wildlife can be found in this HMA and include: rodents, raptors (including prairie falcons and golden eagles), sage-grouse, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, mule deer, and coyote.
Horses in both HMAs are predominately black and dark bay with a few gray and grulla colors. Most of these horses range in size from 14 to 15 hands (56 inches to 60 inches measured from the ground to the top of their withers). Many of these horses resemble the Morgan horse.