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State Herd Area: Kamma Mountains HMA, Nevada

KIn 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 Kamma Mountains HMA is located in western Pershing County, approximately 90 miles northeast of Reno, Nevada. The HMA contains approximately 57,445 acres of unfenced public and private land. The Kamma Mountains HMA along with five other HMAs, make up what is referred to as the “Blue Wing Complex”.  The Blue Wing Complex consists of approximately 639,300 acres. 

The terrain in the area consists of north-south trending mountains separated by broad valleys. Elevations within the HMA range from 4,300 feet along the valley floor to 6,514 at Rosebud Peak. Climate in the summer is characterized by warm dry days and cool nights. Low yearly precipitation ranges from 4 to 6 inches at lower elevations to approximately 8 inches at higher elevations.

The area is also utilized by domestic livestock (cattle and sheep) and numerous wildlife species. Typical wildlife species found in the area include mule deer, pronghorn antelope, chukar partridge, coyotes, and various rodents. 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, bud sage, winterfat, black greasewood, Indian ricegrass, squirreltail and desert needlegrass. Species typical of the sagebrush/grass communities include low sage, Wyoming sagebrush, desert peach, rabbitbrush, needlegrass, basin wild-rye, squirreltail, Indian paintbrush and phlox.

The appropriate management level (AML) for wild horses in the HMA is from 46 to 77 head. The AML for the Blue Wing Complex is 553 head.  Periodic removals are conducted to maintain this population level. Horses within the HMA are descendants of ranch horses and horses that either escaped or were released into the area. The majority of horses exhibit a bay, brown or sorrel color pattern. It is not possible to provide specific information on parentage of wild horses found within the area.

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