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State Herd Area: Calico Mountain (NV)

The Calico Mountains Herd Management Area is located in southwest Humboldt County and east central Washoe County, approximately 110 miles north of Reno, Nevada. The HMA contains approximately 157,166 acres of public and private lands. The terrain consists of steep north-south trending mountains made up of volcanic materials, separated by narrow valleys. Elevations within the HMA range from 4,000 feet along the Black Rock Desert to 8,491 feet at Division Peak. Climate is characterized by warm dry days, cool nights and low yearly precipitation that ranges from 6 to 8 inches at lower elevations to approximately 14 inches at higher elevations.

Vegetation varies from salt desert shrub communities along the Black Rock Desert, to low and big sagebrush/grass communities with intermingled mountain browse at upper elevations. Typical species in the salt desert shrub community include shadscale, budsage, bailey and black greasewood, indian ricegrass, and squirrel tail. Species in the low sagebrush community include low sage, needle grasses, squirrel tail and Sandbergs bluegrass. Species typical of the sagebrush/grass and mountain browse communities include mountain big sagebrush, bitterbrush, mountain mahogany, aspen, snowberry, rabbit brush, horse brush, needle grasses, basin wild rye, squirrel tail, indian paintbrush, arrowleaf balsamroot, and phlox.

The appropriate management level (AML) for wild horses in the HMA is managed in a range from 250 to 333 head. Periodic removals are conducted to maintain the population within the management range. Horses within the HMA are descendants of ranch horses that either escaped or were released into the area. The majority of horses exhibit a bay, brown or sorrel color pattern, however there are a number of paint, palomino and buckskin horses as well. It is not possible to provide any specific information on parentage of wild horses in this area.

The area is also utilized by domestic livestock during part of the year and numerous wildlife species. Typical wildlife species found in the area include mule deer, California bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, sage grouse, chukar partridge, coyote, bobcats, and various rodents.

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