In 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 Crooks Mountain HMA is located directly southeast of Sweetwater Station, Wyoming, and encompasses about 51,000 acres. The appropriate management level for this HMA is 65-100 adult horses. Elevations in the HMA range from 6,900 to 8,100 feet. The lower elevations receive approximately 10-14 inches of precipitation annually, and the upper elevations receive 15-20 inches annually. The major vegetation types are sagebrush/grass, woodland, and riparian. Topography within the HMA is generally rolling hills and slopes to the north and south of Crooks Mountain. The Crooks Mountain portion of the herd area is quite steep and broken with mountainous terrain. The area supports significant wildlife populations of elk, deer, and antelope. Livestock graze the area from May to December.