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 Stewart Creek HMA encompasses 231,124 acres, of which 215,369 are BLM-administered public lands. The Continental Divide (eastern boundary of the Great Divide Basin) traverses the HMA in a north-south direction in its eastern portion along Lost Soldier and Bull Springs rims. Adjacent to these rims on either side are strongly rolling uplands. These areas transition to the gently rolling uplands which comprise the majority of the HMA. Elevation ranges from 6500 to 7900 feet. The most abundant plant community is sagebrush/grass. The climate in the Great Divide Basin is fairly harsh, with long, severe winters. Annual precipitation ranges from less than seven inches at the lower elevations to more than ten inches at some of the higher elevations. Most of the precipitation occurs as snow.
The AML for this HMA is 150 horses. The horses exhibit a full range of colors but most are solid in color. A noticeable number of tobiano paints are present, usually as entire bands. The present population has been influenced by the routine escape of domestic saddle stock from the surrounding populated areas. The horses range from 14 to 15 hands and 800-1000 pounds mature weight.