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State Herd Area: Beatys Butte (OR)

The Beatys Butte Herd Management Area (HMA) consists of a total of 437,120 acres, including 396,520 acres of federal, 640 acres of state, and 37,040 acres of privately owned land. The area is located 65 miles east of Lakeview, Oregon. It is adjacent to and southeast of the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, is southwest of Catlow Valley, and is bordered on the South by the Charles Sheldon National Antelope refuge in Nevada. Vegetation is primarily sagebrush steppe consisting of big sagebursh and bunchgrasses. Low sagebrush communities are interspersed throughout the area. Topography varies from gently rolling hills to steep rugged hills and buttes with a number of broad valleys and shallow or dry lakebeds. Slopes range from 0 to 60%. Precipitation averages 9 inches annually mainly from winter snowfall. Summers are short, warm and dry while winter are typically long and cold.

Beatys Butte, located in the north-central part of the area is the most prominent landmark. It’s elevation of 7,885 feet above sea level makes it the highest point in the Lakeview Resource Area. There is a complex of smaller buttes surrounding Beatys Butte including, Lone Grave (elevation 6510), Shirk’s Lookout (elevation 6784), Mahogany Butte (elevation 7140), Sagehen Butte (elevation 6172) and Antelope Butte (elevation 6410) in the southwest part of the HMA. In the southeast, Acty Mountain (elevation 6980) and Hawk Mountain are prominent landmarks. Portions of five Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs) fall within the boundary of the HMA. These include, Spaulding, Hawk Mountain, Sage Hen Hills, Rincon, and Basque Hills WSAs.

The area has a wide diversity of wildlife habitats and species including resident, migratory and nomadic populations. Large mammals include California bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope and mule deer. Animals typical in the area are coyote, raven, red-tailed hawk, American kestrel, prairie falcon, turkey vulture, rough-legged hawk, chukar partridge, valley quail, mourning dove, Northern harrier, common crow, magpie, great horned owl, mountain lion, bobcat, great basin fence lizard and rattlesnake. Numerous small mammals in the area include least chipmunk, pocket gopher, ground squirrels, a variety of native mice and vole. Wetland habitat also supports numerous species of ducks, geese, swans, and shorebirds. There are 8 animal species in the area which have special status including the Bald Eagle, Loggerhead Shrike, California Bighorn Sheep, Pygmy Rabbit, Long-billed Curlew, Ferruginous Hawk, White-tailed antelope squirrel, and the White-tailed Jackrabbit.

Appropriate management levels for the Beatys Butte HMA are 100-250 horses. Horses are of almost every color and genetic background. The majority of horses are sorrels, browns, roans, and greys. A few horses show characteristics of Spanish mustangs, other bloodlines include draft horses, saddle type, and thoroughbred. Horses are managed for quality and conformation. Adult horses range from 14 to 16 hands and weigh 950-1300 pounds.

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