SOUTH SHOSHONE HERD MANAGEMENT AREA, NV
The South Shoshone Herd Management Area (HMA) is located approximately 30 miles south of Battle Mountain, Nevada, in Lander County. The area consists of 133,099 acres and spans a distance of 28 miles long, by 14 miles wide. The majority of the HMA consists of the Shoshone Mountain Range of north to south trending ridges, and mountain peaks that reach 8,200 feet in elevation. East and west slopes graduate into valley bottoms of 4,800 feet in elevation and are dissected with numerous canyons.
The terrain across most of the former Shoshone-Eureka planning area managed by the Battle Mountain Field Office is typical of the Great Basin region with steep north and south trending mountain ranges separated by large sweeping valley bottoms. Nevada has the largest number of mountain ranges in the United States. Temperatures range in excess of 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer to less than 20 degrees below zero in the winter. Precipitation is in short supply with an annual total of only 5 to 16 inches. Nevada is the driest state in the nation with the least amount of annual rainfall and the lowest amount of surface water.
In addition to wild horses, the HMA is often utilized by domestic cattle and domestic sheep. Wildlife species occurring in the area include mule deer, sage grouse, chukar, coyotes, mountain lions, bobcats, pronghorn antelope and numerous other small mammals, birds, and reptiles.
Vegetation types are distributed according to topography and elevation and the associated precipitation. Within the highest elevations, and subsequently the greatest precipitation, the vegetation consists primarily of pinyon-pine and juniper trees, mountain-mahogany and low sagebrush. The lower and drier elevations consist of saltbush, greasewood, sagebrush and a variety of annual and perennial grasses and wildflowers. In some areas it can take 25 acres to support one horse for one month.
It is suspected that a great deal of movement occurs among the horses from this HMA, the Bald Mountain and Callaghan HMAs. Horses in this area are relatively large horses exhibiting various color characteristics typical of wild horses. In addition, paint (pinto) horses may also exist in this HMA.