NEW PASS/RAVENSWOOD HERD MANAGEMENT AREA
The New Pass-Ravenswood Herd Management Area (HMA) is located
approximately 35 miles northwest of Austin, Nevada, in Lander County.
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. There are steep north and south trending mountain ranges
separated by large, sweeping valley bottoms. Temperatures range from 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.
The HMA is approximately 18 miles wide and 24 miles long and consists
of north-south trending mountains surrounded by valley bottoms. The
New Pass Range provides the western boundary of the area, with the
Ravenswood Mountains in the eastern portion of the HMA. The Antelope
and Reese River Valleys fall in between the mountain ranges at an
elevation of 5,100 feet. The highest point in the HMA is New Pass Peak
at 9,003 feet.
In addition to the wild horses, domestic cattle and domestic sheep often
utilize the HMAs. Wildlife species occurring in the area include mule
deer, sage grouse, chukar, coyote, mountain lion, bobcat, pronghorn
antelope and numerous other small mammals, birds and reptiles.
Vegetation types are distributed according to topography and 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 saltbrush, greasewood,
sagebrush and a variety of annual and perennial grasses and wildflowers.
In some areas it may take 25 acres to support one horse for a month.
The horses were previously gathered in 1994. The primary colors of the
horses are bay, black and brown. Some of the animals are Curlys.
Fire Impact, Summer 1999
The New Pass and Antelope fires burned about 43 percent of the New
Pass-Ravenswood HMA in August of 1999. As a result, 945 wild horses
were removed from the area in October. Many of the animals will be
offered for adoption, but some will be held for return to the HMA once it
is rehabilitated. The burned area will be fenced as much of the area will
be seeded and allowed to rest for at least two years.