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State Herd Area: Flanigan (NV)

Location/Habitat The Flanigan Herd Management Area (HMA) is located about 50 miles north of Reno, Nev., and west of Pyramid Lake in Washoe County. The topography of this HMA consists of hilly and mountainous terrain. The elevation varies from 4,300 to 6,500 feet. During the summer, temperatures may exceed 100° F and may drop to below 0° during the winter months. The average annual precipitation is 8"-12".

Vegetative Type The vegetation in this HMA is dominated by sage brush and pinyon juniper. Grass varieties of Poa and bottlebrush squirreltail can be found throughout this area.

Herd Description Horses within this HMA are usually bay, brown or sorrel and may contain some draft blood. Management level for the HMA is from 80 to 124 wild horses.

Fire Impact, Summer 1999 The Fish Fire Complex burned August 23-28, 1999. About 47,600 acres of rangeland burned, most public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management’s Carson City field office. Within the burned area is the Flanigan Herd Management Area, about 10,550 acres which is located in the northwest corner of the burned area. This was crucial winter and summer habitat for the wild horse herd.

Wild horses were removed in a gather, which began on October 21, 1999. About 190 wild horses were removed. All of the animals were transported to the National Wild Horse and Burro Center at Palomino Valley, the BLM’s facility near Pyramid Lake. Because no wild horses or domestic livestock will be allowed to graze in the area which is being reseeded or rehabilitated, the entire herd was removed. About 33,920 acres will be aerially seeded and 80 acres will be planted with containerized shrubs.

While many of the wild horses will enter the adoption program, some members of the herd have been selected to be held and re-released when it is determined that the burn area is suitable for grazing. Typically, at least two growing seasons are necessary before the vegetation is capable of supporting a wild horse population.

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