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State Herd Area: Little Fish Lake (NV)
LITTLE FISH LAKE HERD MANAGEMENT AREA, NV Location/Habitat The Little Fish Lake Herd Management Area (HMA) is located 60 miles northeast of Tonopah, Nevada, in Nye County. The area consists of 28,780 acres. At one time, this HMA encompassed approximately 109,908 acres. After the Nevada Forest Enhancement Act of 1988, the U.S. Forest Service (FS) was transferred approximately 77,768 acres of the HMA to manage as a Wild Horse Territory (WHT) and the BLM retains 28,780 acres as the Little Fish Lake HMA. There are about 3,360 acres of private land within the original HMA The HMA's current area spans 10 miles wide and 18 miles long. The Little Fish Lake HMA is typical of the Great Basin region with steep north and south trending mountain ranges separated by large sweeping valley bottoms. Elevation is 6,500 feet on the valley bottoms. The Monitor Range reaches elevations of 9,000 to 10,500 feet while the Hot Creek Mountains average 9,000 feet. Several perennial streams flow through the valley. Precipitation ranges between 8 and 12 inches. The majority of moisture is snow in the winter months. Vegetation Vegetation types are distributed according to topography and elevation and the associated precipitation. At the highest elevations which have the greatest precipitation, the vegetation consists primarily of pinyon-juniper woodlands, mountain-mahogany, and low sagebrush. The lower and drier elevations consist of Wyoming sagebrush, black sage, white sage, rubber rabbitbrush, Indian ricegrass, bottlebrush squirreltail, needle-and-thread grass, and Sandberg bluegrass. Many areas of the valley floor were seeded to crested wheatgrass. Weeds such as Halogeton and Russian-thistle are found along cleared roadsides and disturbed areas. Herd Description Horses in the HMA are predominantly bay, sorrel, black, and white in color, but dun, grulla (mouse color), buckskin, and paint horses occur in the area, but are few and far between. The first recorded BLM gather of wild horses in this area took place in 1985 when 184 horses were put into the wild horse adoption program. Writer-Artist Will James Will James (1892-1942) wrote and illustrated 23 books in his lifetime. His most famous book was “Smoky,” published in 1926. His first writing was “Bucking Horse Riders,” and his last book, “The American Cowboy” was written in 1942. The James Wild Horse Trap in Little Fish Lake Valley is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The trap was supposedly built and used by Will James. While in his late teens and early twenties, he was a top cow hand and an excellent horse handler. He worked for various ranches in central and eastern Nevada around 1910-1914. He also had a talent for drawing pictures of western scenes, mostly scenes containing horses. In 1914, he was arrested in Oasis, Utah, for borrowing and selling some cattle that did not belong to him. He was returned to Nevada and spent 12 months of a 15- month sentence in the Nevada State Penitentiary in Carson City. During that time he continued with his drawings. After being released in 1916, he worked in the Carson City and Bridgeport California, area. After being kicked in the jaw he made a short trip to Los Angeles to get his teeth fixed, then took a train to Tonopah where he bought a horse and rode up to the Stone Cabin - Little Fish Lake Valley area working in the Spring roundup. He left the area in June of 1916 for Canada. In his later years, Will James became a famous author and artist.
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