GRANITE RANGE HERD MANAGEMENT AREA
The Granite Range Herd Management Area (HMA) is located in central Washoe County, approximately 80 miles north of Reno, Nevada. The HMA contains approximately 101,650 acres of public and private lands. The terrain in the area consists of a steep north-south trending mountain with small narrow valleys in the south half and broad sloping ridge tops in the north half. Elevations within the HMA range from 3,920 feet along the Black Rock Desert to 9,056 feet at Granite Peak. Climate is characterized by warm dry days, cool nights and low yearly precipitation that ranges from 4 to 6 inches at lower elevations to approximately 14 inches at higher elevations.
Vegetation varies from salt desert shrub communities at lower elevations to big sagebrush/grass communities at upper elevations. Typical species in the salt desert shrub community includes shadscale, budsage, winterfat, black greasewood, indian rice grass, squirrel tail and Sandbergs bluegrass. Species typical of the sagebrush/grass communities include low sage, mountain big sagebrush, bitterbrush, mountain mahogany, aspen, snowberry, rabbit brush, Utah juniper, needlegrasses, basin wild rye, squirrel tail, indian paintbrush and phlox.
The appropriate management level (AML) for wild horses in the HMA is managed in a range from 193 to 258 head. Periodic removals are conducted to maintain the population within the management range. Horses within the HMA are descendants of ranch horses and horses raised for the cavalry remount program 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, buckskin and appaloosa horses as well. It is not possible to provide any specific information on parentage of wild horses in the 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, mountain quail, coyote, bobcats, and various rodents.