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State Herd Area: Highland Peak (NV)
HIGHLAND PEAK HERD MANAGEMENT AREA, NV Location/Habitat The Highland Peak Herd Management Area (HMA) is a 137,000-acre HMA located to the west of the small town of Panaca. The HMA consists of two small mountain ranges (Highland and Chief) and their associated foothills. Climate in the area is quite harsh, with winter temperatures well below freezing and summer temperature well over 100 degrees Farhenheit. The area has had snow in May and 90 degree heat as late as November. Rainfall averages only 8-14 inches per year, divided almost equally between summer and winter. Summer rains are localized, short and very intense while winter/spring rains are gentler and over a wider area. This HMA has one primary water source that is centrally located within the HMA, but several small spring sources are found on the Highland Peak Range. The animals have to travel several miles from food to water and back during the drier part of the year. Horses drink at least once each day during the hotter part of the year, but only every second day during the winter and early spring. The horses share the area with desert mule deer, antelope, coyotes, grey fox, and mountain lions, as well as many species of small wildlife. Birds include the rare prairie falcon, ravens, quail, starlings, horned larks and many more. Reptiles include many species of lizards and both poisonous (rattlesnakes) and non-poisonous snakes. Vegetation The vegetation within the HMA is typical of the Great Basin types with big sagebrush, forest lands (pinyon-pine/juniper {P/J}), and bunch grasses. The horses may have home ranges that contain bristlecone pine to saltbrush shrub plant communities. The foothills and valley bottoms are dominated by sagebrush and rabbitbrush communities with grass in the understory. The scattered pockets of perennial grasses within the sagebrush and P/J communities supply the majority of the forage for the horses. Herd Description The horses that exist within this HMA are generally descendants of early ranch horses and cavalry remount horses. These horses show bloodlines of quarter horses, Arabians, thoroughbreds, and many other breeds including draft horses. The predominate colors are bay and sorrel with other colors also occurring. The area is locally known for its sorrel and brown horses with flaxen manes and tails, which trace back to a domestic stallion that was used in the area prior to the passage of the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act. These horses average approximately 13-14 hands tall (52-56 inches) and weigh about 600-800 pounds.
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