U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
|Rawlins Field Office|
Wild Horse Herd Management Areas
The Bureau of Land Management maintains and manages wild horses or burros in "herd management areas" (HMAs). The BLM establishes an "appropriate management level" (AML) for each HMA. The AML is the population objective for the HMA that will ensure a thriving ecological balance among all the users and resources of the HMA–for example, wildlife, livestock, wild horses, vegetation, water, and soil. (Wyoming has no wild burros). The Rawlins Field Office has three HMAs.
The Stewart Creek HMA encompasses 231,124 acres, of which 215,369 are BLM-administered public lands. The Continental Divide (eastern boundary of the Great Divide Basin) traverses the HMA in a north-south direction in its eastern portion along Lost Soldier and Bull Springs rims. Adjacent to these rims on either side are strongly rolling uplands. These areas transition to the gently rolling uplands which comprise the majority of the HMA. Elevation ranges from 6500 to 7900 feet. The most abundant plant community is sagebrush/grass. The climate in the Great Divide Basin is fairly harsh, with long, severe winters. Annual precipitation ranges from less than seven inches at the lower elevations to more than ten inches at some of the higher elevations. Most of the precipitation occurs as snow.
The AML for this HMA is 150 horses. The horses exhibit a full range of colors but most are solid in color. A noticeable number of tobiano paints are present, usually as entire bands. The present population has been influenced by the routine escape of domestic saddle stock from the surrounding populated areas. The horses range from 14 to 15 hands and 800-1000 pounds mature weight.
A wild horse viewing tour has been developed for this HMA.
The Lost Creek HMA encompasses 250,000 acres, of which 235,000 acres are BLM-administered public lands. The HMA lies within the Great Divide Basin, a closed basin out of which no water flows. Some desert playa and vegetated dune areas are interspersed throughout the HMA. Several sensitive desert wetland riparian areas occur throughout the area, including both intermittent and perennial lakes and streams. Elevation ranges from 6500 to 6800 feet. Winters are long and severe. Annual precipitation averages a little less than six inches. The Lost Creek HMA is joined on the east by the Stewart Creek HMA, on the north by the Antelope Hills HMA, and on the west by the Divide Basin HMA.
The AML for this HMA is 70 horses. A full range of colors is present. The present population has been influenced by the routine escape of domestic saddle stock from the surrounding populated areas. The horses range from 14 to 15 hands and 800-1000 pounds mature weight. Genetic testing on horses in the Lost Creek HMA shows them to be closely identified with the Spanish Mustang breed.
The Adobe Town HMA is located in southcentral Wyoming between Interstate 80 and the Colorado/Wyoming border. It encompasses 472,812 acres of which 444,744 are BLM-administered public lands. The topography of the area is varied with everything from colorful eroded desert badlands to wooded buttes and escarpments. In between are extensive rolling to rough uplands interspersed with some desert playa and vegetated dune areas. Limited, sensitive desert riparian areas are important features of the landscape. Winters are long and severe. Annual precipitation ranges from less than seven inches in the desert basins to more than twelve inches at some of the higher elevations. Elevation ranges from 6600 ft to 7800 ft along Kinney Rim, which forms the western boundary of the HMA. Some of the HMA is in the Adobe Town Wilderness Study Area. Other features in the area include the Cherokee Trail, the Haystacks, and Powder Rim.
The AML for this HMA is 700 horses. The horses exhibit a full range of colors, with roans and greys predominating. The present population has been influenced by the routine escape of domestic saddle stock from the surrounding populated areas. The horses range from 14 to 15 hands and 900-1100 pounds mature weight. Health is good with few apparent problems. One of the most famous wild horses of all times, named Desert Dust, came from this area.