In 1971, wild horses and burros were found roaming across 53.8 million acres of Herd Areas (HAs), of which 42.4 million acres were under the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) jurisdiction. Today the BLM manages wild horses and burros in subsets of these HAs, known as Herd Management Areas (HMAs) that comprise 31.6 million acres, of which 26.9 million acres are under BLM management.
The Nut Mountain (a.k.a. Pine Nut Mountain) HMA, is located in the Pine Nut Mountain Range of Lyon, Douglas and Carson Counties approximately 5 miles east of Carson City, Nevada, this HMA encompasses approximately 90,000 acres. It is in Nevada, but administered by California BLM.
The topography of the HMA ranges from rolling hills (approximately 5,000 feet) to close to 9,000 feet at the tops of the tallest peaks. Temperatures can exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit at lower elevations during July and August and can drop to as low as 10 degrees during December and January. Average annual precipitation is strongly influenced by elevation and varies from six to 16 inches.Because of the diverse topography and various habitat types, many species of wildlife exist within the HMA, including lizards, rodents, raptors (including prairie falcons and golden eagles), pronghorn antelope and mule deer.
Dominant vegetation consists of pinyon-pine, juniper, sagebrush, cheatgrass, Indian ricegrass, pine bluegrass, Sandberg bluegrass, Thurber needlegrass, and bottlebrush squirreltail.
The appropriate management level for this HMA is between 119 to 179 horses. Most coat colors can be found among the Pine Nut horses. The horses generally stand 13 to 14 hands tall (52 to 56 inches measured from the ground to the top of their withers).