WARM SPRINGS CANYON HERD MANAGEMENT AREA
The Warm Springs Canyon Herd Management Area (HMA) is located in western Humboldt County, approximately 140 miles north of Reno, Nevada. The HMA contains approximately 83,136 acres of public and private lands. The terrain consists of a plateau that is dissected by
steep north-south trending canyons made up of volcanic materials. Elevations within the HMA range from 4,550 feet at Fly Canyon to 7,084 feet at Trough 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 14 inches at higher elevations.
The area is also utilized by domestic livestock during part of the year and numerous wildlife species. Typical wildlife species found in the area include mule deer, California bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, sage
grouse, chukar partridge, coyote, bobcats, and various rodents. Unique to this area is a threatened minnow species, desert dace, that is only found in the hot springs located in the southern part of the HMA. The East Fork High Rock Canyon, the North Black Rock Range and the High Rock Lake Wilderness Areas are partially contained within the HMA. The Warm Springs Canyon HMA is partially located within the Black Rock Desert/High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area.
Vegetation is made up of small meadows associated with numerous hot springs, surrounded by low sagebrush/grass communities at lower elevations, to big sagebrush/grass communities at upper elevations. Typical species in the low sagebrush community includes low sage, needlegrass,
squirreltail and Sandbergs bluegrass. Species typical of the sagebrush/grass communities include mountain big sagebrush, bitterbrush, mountain mahogany, aspen, snowberry, rabbitbrush, horsebrush, needlegrass, basin wildrye, squirreltail, Indian paintbrush and phlox.
The appropriate management level (AML) for wild horses and burros in the HMA ranges from 105 to 175 horses and 15 to 24 burros. Periodic removals are conducted to maintain the population within the management range. Horses within the HMA are descendants of ranch horses that either escaped or were released into the area and horses raised for the cavalry remount program. The majority of horses exhibit a bay, brown or sorrel color pattern; however, there are a number of paint and buckskin horses as well.
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; however, pinto burros are also found in the area.