Clan Alpine Herd Management Area (HMA)
Location/Habitat: The Clan Alpine Herd Management Area (HMA) is located approximately 60 miles east of Fallon, in the Clan Alpine Mountains of Churchill County, Nevada. The HMA encompasses 314,986 acres of rolling hills at 4,000 feet to mountains topping out at over 10,000 feet. This HMA includes the following grazing allotments: Clan Alpine, Cow Canyon and Dixie Valley. The Clan Alpine Wilderness Study Area is located in a portion of the HMA.
Temperatures can exceed 104 degrees Fahrenheit at lower elevations during mid-summer, and can drop to as low as 10 degrees in December and January.
Wildife: Because of the diverse topography and various habitat types, many species of wildlife exist within the HMA, including lizards, rodents, raptors (including prarie falcons and golden eagles), bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope and mule deer.
Vegetation: Dominant vegetation consists of pinyon-pine, greasewood, shadscale, sagebrush, cheatgrass, Indian ricegrass, pine bluegrass, Nevada bluegrass, Sandberg bluegrass, Thurber needlegrass, Idaho fescue and bottlebrush squirreltail.
Herd Description: The appropriate management level (AML) for this HMA is between 612 to 979 horses. Portions of this HMA are populated almost exclusively by older animals (12 years and older), while the Bench and Camp Creek locations exhibit normal age distribution. The Clan Alpine area is known to have a relatively dense mountain lion population which could account for very low "recruitment rates" in portions of the HMA.
Most coat colors can be found among the Clan Alpine horses which have an unusually high percentage of light gray animals. The horses generally stand 14 to 15 hands high (56 inches to 60 inches measured from the ground to the top of the withers). Many of these animals are quite adept at negotiating rugged terrain because most of the terrain is steep and rocky. It is generally accepted that these horses originated from escaped ranch stock. Dr. Ann Bowling examined blood samples from the Clan Alpine horses and concluded that they are most closely related to quarter horse, Morgan and American saddlebred. This mix has combined to create a strong-spirited horse in the Clan Alpine Mountains.