About the Complex
The 1,682,998-acre Triple B Complex is located approximately 30 miles northwest of Ely, Nevada, and 70 miles southeast of Elko, Nevada, within White Pine and Elko Counties. The complex consists of the Triple B Herd Management Area (HMA) that is managed by the BLM Ely District, Egan Field Office; Maverick-Medicine HMA and Antelope Valley HMA west of highway 93 which are managed by the Elko District, Wells Field Office; and the Cherry Spring Wild Horse Territory (WHT) which is managed by the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Ruby Mountains Range District.
The area is within the Great Basin geographical region, which is one of the largest deserts in the world. The Great Basin is effectively cut off from the westerly flow of Pacific moisture. Crossing air masses created by the Sierra and Cascade mountain ranges provide cooling and precipitate much of the moisture out. The result for most of the Great Basin is a Dry Steppe cold climate classification. The climate is typical of middle latitude, semi-arid lands where evaporation potential exceeds precipitation throughout the year. Precipitation ranges from approximately 7 inches on the valley bottoms to 16 to 18 inches on the mountain peaks. Most of this precipitation comes during the winter months in the form of snow. Temperatures range from greater than 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer months to minus 15 degrees in the winter. Elevations within the Complex range from approximately 5,000 feet to 10,000 feet. The Complex is characterized by long wide valleys and long narrow steep mountain peaks covered with heavy pinion pine and juniper woodlands.
The area is also utilized by domestic livestock and numerous wildlife species. The boundaries between the Triple B, Maverick-Medicine and Antelope Valley HMAs; and Cherry Spring WHT are not fenced nor do they have any natural boundaries. As a result, wild horses move regularly between the HMAs and WHT for water and forage.
The Complex is dry with few perennial waters. The majority of the limited water resources are small seeps and springs that are found mainly in the mountains.
Vegetative communities within the HMAs and WHT are diverse with desert shrubs, sagebrush and grasses dominating the lower elevations and sagebrush, mountain shrubs, grass, pinion pine and juniper, and mountain mahogany dominating the benches and higher elevations. Plant species dominating the lower elevations include Wyoming big sagebrush, low sagebrush, black sagebrush, winterfat, shadscale, budsage, sickle saltbush, black greasewood, rabbitbrush, Indian ricegrass, Sandburg bluegrass, bluebunch wheatgrass, bottlebrush squirreltail, needlegrass and assorted forb species. Plant species dominating the higher elevations include Wyoming big sagebrush, mountain sagebrush, black sagebrush, antelope bitterbrush, Utah serviceberry, snowberry, golden and squaw current, pinion pine, Utah juniper, curlleaf mountain mahogany, limber pine, white fir, bluebunch wheatgrass, needlegrass and assorted forb species.