McGEE MOUNTAIN HERD MANAGEMENT AREA, NV
The McGee Mountain Herd Management Area (HMA) for burros is located in northwestern Humboldt County, approximately 90 miles northwest of Winnemucca, Nevada. The area is bordered on the north and west by the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge, administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Terrain in the area consists of a broad highly dissected basaltic plateau with a rocky escarpment.
Elevations range from approximately 4,300 feet in the Bog Hot Valley area to 6,667 feet on McGee Mountain. Climate is characterized by warm dry days, cool nights and low yearly precipitation that ranges from 6 to 8 inches at lower elevations to approximately 12 inches at higher elevations. The area is
also utilized by domestic livestock and numerous wildlife species. Typical wildlife species found in the
area include mule deer, big horn sheep, antelope, chukar partridge, sage grouse, and various birds, rodents and reptiles. Mule deer and antelope use the area as winter range. The Blue Lakes Wilderness Study Area (WSA) is approximately 10 miles southeast of the HMA. The WSA is not used by burros. Other recreational use includes rockhounding, hiking, hunting, and camping. There are old, inactive mines in the area.
Vegetation varies from salt desert shrub communities at lower elevations to big sagebrush/grass communities at upper elevations. Typical species in the salt desert shrub community includes shadscale, black greasewood, and Indian ricegrass. Species typical of the sagebrush/grass communities include low sage, Wyoming sagebrush, rabbitbrush, bluebunch wheatgrass, basin wildrye, squirreltail, and downy brome.
The appropriate management level (AML) for wild burros in the HMA is managed in a range from 26 to 47 head. Periodic removals are conducted to maintain the population within the management range. Burros within the HMA are the descendants of pack animals used by miners and sheep ranchers. The majority of the burros exhibit a gray color pattern. Since there is little if any water available in the HMA, burros use the Craine Creek/Gridley Lake area east of McGee Mountain up to the Sheldon National
Wildlife Refuge fence.
Burros on the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge, which is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, are not managed by BLM.