WHISTLER MOUNTAIN HERD MANAGEMENT AREA, NV
The Whistler Mountain Herd Management Area (HMA) is less than ten miles northwest of
Eureka, Nevada, in Eureka County. The area consists of 43,247 acres. This HMA shares its west boundary with the Roberts Mountain HMA, and it is accepted that horse movement occurs between the two HMAs. The area spans 16 miles long and 7 miles wide at its widest points. The area is comprised of a small mountain range that reaches 8,226 feet in elevation, surrounded by valleys of 5,900 feet in elevation.
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. Central Nevada is sometimes referred to as a high desert or a cold desert with elevations ranging from 6,000 feet in the valley bottoms to over 10,000 feet on the mountain peaks. 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, coyote, mountain lions, bobcat, pronghorn antelope and numerous other small mammals, birds, and reptiles.
Vegetation types are distributed according to topography, 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.
The horses of the Whistler Mountain HMA are similar in size and color to the horses in the Roberts Mountain HMA. These animals vary in color and confirmation, but are generally some of the larger horses with the former Shoshone-Eureka planning area. Many of the horses are bay, brown, buckskin and roan in color. There are several paint (pinto) horses, in addition to sorrel, dun, white, black, palomino, chestnut and gray. There are also a few Curly horses in the area.
This HMA shares its west boundary with the Roberts Mountain HMA, and it is accepted that horse movement occurs between the two HMAs.