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Wyoming HMA/HA Map

Wyoming HMA/HA Map

Information on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wild horse and burro management in the State of Wyoming. Information is from public information sources and, can include, unique research and field observations made by Wild Horse Education.

Terms in charts

HA- Herd Area, Arbitrary areas defined in 1971 by BLM, without regard to seasonal herd movement,  where wild herds were observed. Officially “zeroed out” there could still be wild herds in these areas.

HMA- Herd Management Area- Areas designated for management of wild herds. There were 303 HMAs; now there are less than 180, and of those 70% have populations that are no longer genetically viable.

Wild Horse Education’s BLM  ”glossary” HERE

These is the latest available stat sheets for the State of Wyoming.

Information on this page was researched and written by WHE volunteer, Connie J. Cunningham.

Wyoming Summary

Wyoming Summary

Wyoming HMA/HA summary

Wyoming HMA/HA summary

Wyoming HA summary

Wyoming HA summary

WYOMING WILD HORSE HMAS

Source of information:  BLM websites

Recent news about Wyoming’s wild horseshttp://www.capitalpress.com/lvstk/AP-WY-wild-horses-040513

Ranchers, BLM, settle suit over Wyo. wild horses 

Friday, April 05, 2013 9:24 AM

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A legal settlement between ranchers and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management would reduce wild horse numbers by about half on more than 4,300 square miles of sagebrush country in the Red Desert of southwest Wyoming.

Under the agreement, the BLM would allow no more than 1,050 wild horses in four herd areas, down from the current population of just under 2,000 horses in those areas north and south of Rock Springs. Many remaining horses would be sterilized or receive fertility control treatments so they don’t reproduce.

Wild horse advocacy groups that intervened in the case objected, saying Thursday that the settlement threatened to “wipe out” wild horses in the area.

The BLM contends that the settlement will maintain wild horses in southwest Wyoming while meeting a requirement under the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act for the government to remove wild horses from private property when requested to do so.

“We feel like this serves the objectives of the wild horse and burros act by retaining wild horses on the public lands while reducing landowner conflicts where the wild horses stray onto private lands,” BLM spokeswoman Beverly Gorny said Thursday. “That’s really the key issue in that particular area.”

U.S. District Judge Nancy Freudenthal in Cheyenne approved the settlement Wednesday. The settlement requires the BLM to round up horses to meet the new herd target numbers. Roundups will occur this year through 2015, or 2016 if the population objectives aren’t met by then.

The settlement stems from a lawsuit filed in 2011 by the Rock Springs Grazing Association, a group of ranchers who run cattle on a vast area of southwest Wyoming known as the Checkerboard. The area is a mix of public and private land that dates to federal land grants for the Continental Railroad.

Not nearly enough fencing exists to keep wild horses off the Checkerboard’s private tracts. The result, ranchers say, is that horses damage the range and compete with cattle for forage.

The problem can be especially bad where cattle and horses alike congregate at water sources.

The association alleged the BLM allowed wild horse numbers to reach at least 4,700, almost three times the maximum number the BLM previously had agreed to allow in the early 1980s.

The association’s president, John Hay, of Rock Springs, declined to comment Thursday.

Wild horse advocacy groups — the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, The Cloud Foundation, and the International Society for the Preservation of Wild Mustangs and Burros — objected to the settlement.

“We are appalled that the court has put a seal of approval on the BLM’s plan to destroy some of Wyoming’s last remaining and most popular wild horse herds,” Suzanne Roy, director of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, said in a release.

Wild horse numbers will be reduced in four herd areas as follows:

–The Salt Wells herd area south of Rock Springs, which currently has 686 horses and is supposed to have been managed to sustain between 251 and 365 horses, will be managed for zero horses. Roundups will occur if the population exceeds 200.

–The Divide Basin herd area northeast of Rock Springs, currently home to 527 horses and managed for a population of between 415 and 600 horses, will be managed for zero horses. Roundups will occur if the population exceeds 100.

–The Adobe Town herd area southeast of Rock Springs, which now has 520 horses and is managed for between 619 and 800 horses, will be managed for between 225 and 450 horses under the settlement.

–The White Mountain herd area northwest of Rock Springs, which has 246 horses, would continue to be managed for between 205 and 300 horses but with a goal of keeping the population at the low end of that range.

The BLM would consider using fertility control methods, as well as spaying mares and gelding stallions, to limit the size of the White Mountain and Adobe Town herds.

What is a herd management area?

•  In 1971, Congress passed the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act to protect, manage, and  control these animals on public lands. It declared wild horses and burros to be “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West.” Congress further declared that “wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death…”and that they are“…an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.”

•  The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) maintains and manages wild horses or burros in herd management areas (HMAs). BLM regulations require that wild horses and burros be considered comparable with other resource values within an area. There are 270 BLM-managed HMAs in ten states. In Wyoming, about 3,725 horses are managed within 16 different HMAs scattered across the state; there are no wild burros in Wyoming.

ADOBE TOWN HMA

Where is the HMA and what is special about these wild horses?

•  Wild horses in Wyoming are found primarily in the southwestern part of the state near Rock Springs and Rawlins, but some can be seen near Lander, Worland and Cody. The BLM Rock Springs and Rawlins Field Offices cooperatively manage the Adobe Town HMA which is comprised of 417,916 federal acres and 30,000 private and state acres at an elevation of 6,600 – 7,800 ft. west of Baggs, Wyo. This HMA also provides forage and habitat for other wildlife such as the greater sage-grouse, pronghorn, and mule deer. Livestock grazing, recreation, and hunting also comprise the multiple uses of this area.

•  The wild horses are considered a mix of Spanish mustangs, Indian ponies, local ranch horses and cavalry mounts which is reflected in the herd colors of roan and gray.

ANTELOPE HILLS HMA

Administered by:  Lander Field Office

Location:  15 miles SE of Atlantic City, WY

Acres:  nearly 159,000

Elevation:  7,100 ft. – 7,250 ft.

AML:  60-82

Colors:  predominantly bay & brown

The Antelope Hills HMA encompasses nearly 159,000 acres, of both public and private lands. The AML for this HMA is 60-82 adult horses. The area is located approximately 15 miles south/southeast of Atlantic City, Wyo. Elevations in the HMA range from 7,100 to 7,250 feet along Cyclone Rim and it is bisected by the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. The area receives five to seven inches of precipitation annually. Predominate vegetation type is sagebrush/grass and riparian zones are infrequent but very important to wild horses, wildlife, and livestock. The topography ranges from rolling flatlands south of Cyclone Rim, uplifted ridges along Cyclone Rim, and abrupt rocky zones of the Granite Rocks area of the Antelope Hills, interspersed with rolling lands north of the rim to the Sweetwater River. These horses spend much of their summer in the Granite Rocks Region of the HMA. This HMA has genetic markers that would reflect a similarity to the New World Spanish horse breeds. Sweeping views of the southern Wind River Mountain Range can be seen to the west of this HMA. This HMA is truly in the “middle of nowhere” with scenic vistas throughout.

MUSKRAT BASIN, CONANT CREEK, ROCK CREEK AND DISHPAN BUTTE HMAS

These four HMAs are located in southeast Fremont County. They encompass about 375,000 acres of land, of which about 90% are BLM-administered public lands. While the four HMAs are managed with recognized individual populations, there is no geographic separation of the HMAs and the gates between them remain open a significant part of the year. As a result, the horses move regularly among the HMAs, helping to ensure the overall genetic health of the horses. Topography of the area includes high ridges and steep terrain with grand vistas. Beaver Rim, located on the western edge of the HMAs, is a beautiful, high escarpment with amazing views of the Wind River Mountains, Copper Mountains, and Owl Creek Mountains. Elevations in the HMAs range from 5,300 to 7,200 feet. The area receives 5 to 12 inches of precipitation a year, depending on the elevation, most of it in the form of snow.

The AML for these HMAs is 320 horses. A full range of colors is present. Most horses are solid in color. The horses range from 11 to 15 hands and 750-1000 pounds mature weight. Health is good with few apparent problems. Domestic cattle and sheep utilize the area during spring, summer, and fall. Vegetation is dominated by various sage and grass species. Elk, deer, and antelope also inhabit this area.

CROOKS MOUNTAIN HMA

The Crooks Mountain HMA is located directly southeast of Sweetwater Station, Wyoming, and encompasses about 51,000 acres. The AML 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.

GREAT DIVIDE BASIN HMA

Horses in the Great Divide Basin herd management area.

The Great Divide Basin HMA encompasses 778,915 acres, of which 562,702 acres are BLM – administered public lands. The management area is located 40 miles east of Rock Springs, to the Rawlins/Rock Springs field office boundary, west to the Continental Divide, and north of I-80 to just south of South Pass City. The northern portion of the herd management area consists primarily of consolidated public lands with state school sections and small parcels of private land making up the remaining lands. The southern portion is in the checkerboard land ownership area created by the Union Pacific Railroad grant. Topography within the herd area is generally gently rolling hills and slopes with some tall buttes and streams. Elevations range roughly from 6,200 to 8,700 feet. Precipitation ranges 6-10 inches, predominately in the form of snow.

The AML for this HMA is 500 horses. Most horses are bay, sorrel, black, brown, paint, buckskin, or gray, but many colors and combinations are present. The Wyoming horses have a diverse background of many domestic horse breeds. They are most closely related to North American gaited breeds such as Rocky Mountain Horse, American Saddlebred, Standardbred, and Morgan. The horses range from 14 to 15.5 hands and weighs up to 1,100 pounds mature weight. The health of the horses is good with no apparent problems.

Domestic cattle and sheep utilize the area lightly in summer and moderately in winter. Vegetation in the HMA is dominated by sagebrush and grass intermixed with greasewood and saltbrush. The area also supports significant wildlife populations including elk, deer, and antelope.

We invite you to view wild horses; however, it is unlawful to chase and/or catch them. Please allow them to live a free and unmolested life.

The HMA is located north east of Rock Springs, Wyoming. The area can be accessed from Rock Springs by going approximately 35 miles east on I-80 and exiting on the Bitter Creek Interchange Exit #142. After exiting I-80 take County Road #19 north and you will be in the Great Divide Basin HMA. Another option is to take the Bar-X Exit # 152 off of I-80 and take County Road #21 north. County Roads are typically improved gravel roads maintained at scheduled intervals.

Therefore road conditions vary from very good to rough and rutted from wet weather and possibly impassable. It is easy to determine if you are in wild horse country by identifying the large piles of horse manure (stud piles) along road sides. Maps that cover this area are available at the Rock Springs Field Office located at 280 US 191 North. A quick stop at the field office would allow you to check local conditions and obtain maps.

The maps needed for this area are Red Desert Basin and South Pass. Before traveling to the area, make sure your vehicle is in good repair. If it has not stormed recently, you can make this trip in any full or mid-sized passenger vehicle, but a four wheel drive sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) is recommended. Make sure your spare tire is usable and have drinking water and emergency supplies with you. This area is fairly isolated, and it could be some time before help could arrive. Do not attempt to make this trip during inclement weather. Be especially cautious when there is snow on the ground. Travel in the area is restricted to existing roads and trails. Cross-country travel is not allowed. Don’t forget to bring your camera and binoculars.

GREEN MOUNTAIN HMA

The Green Mountain HMA encompasses 88,000 acres, of which 74,000 acres are BLM-administered public lands. Topography within the herd area is generally gently rolling hills and slopes north and south of Green Mountain. Green Mountain itself is quite steep with mountainous terrain and conifer/aspen forests. Elevations range from 6,200 to 9,200 feet with grand vistas of the Red Desert, Sweetwater Rocks, and Oregon Trail from the higher elevations. Precipitation ranges from 10-14 inches at the lower elevations to 15-20 inches at the upper elevations. Most of the precipitation is in the form of snow.

The AML for this HMA is 300 horses. A full range of colors is present. Most horses are solid in color, but a noticeable number of tobiano paints are present. The horses range from 11 to 15 hands and 750-1000 pounds mature weight. Health is good with few apparent problems. Domestic cattle and sheep utilize the area in all seasons with summer cattle use predominating. Vegetation around the mountain is dominated by various sage, grass, woodland, and riparian species. The area supports significant wildlife populations of elk, deer, antelope, and moose.

LITTLE COLORADO HMA 

The Little Colorado HMA encompasses 519,541 acres of BLM administered public lands. The majority of the HMA consists of consolidated public lands along with state school sections and, in the south of the HMA, Bureau of Reclamation lands. The HMA is bounded on the west by the Green River, on the east by Highway 191on the north by the Pinedale/Rock Springs Field Office boundary. The area is mostly rolling hills with significant canyons breaking up the area. Elevations range from approximately 6,300 to 7,900 feet, and precipitation ranges from 6-10 inches, predominately in the form of snow. The area is unfenced except for sections of the boundary fence between the Rock Springs and Pinedale Field Offices, and along Highway 191. The HMA is divided among Sublette, Lincoln, and Sweetwater counties.

The AML for this HMA is 100 horses. Most horses in this area are dark – bay, sorrel, brown, black or gray. The Wyoming horses have a diverse background of many domestic horse breeds. They are most closely related to North American gaited breeds such as Rocky Mountain Horse, American Saddlebred, Standardbred, and Morgan. The horses range from 14 to 15.5 hands and weigh between 750 and 1,100 pounds mature weight. The horse health is good with no apparent problems.

Domestic cattle and sheep utilize the area lightly in the summer and moderately in the winter. Vegetation in the HMA is dominated by sagebrush/grass, with saltbrush, winterfat, greasewood, and meadow species. Horses typically use a high amount of grass species, the most favorable being needlegrass, Indian ricegrass, wheatgrass, and sedges. The area supports significant wildlife populations including deer, antelope, and sage grouse.

The HMA is located north east of Farson, Wyoming. The area can be accessed from Rock Springs by going approximately 45 miles north on US 191. The Little Colorado HMA is on the west side of US 191 North for approximately 25-30 miles. For your information, domestic horses are authorized to graze on the east side of US 191 North. The Little Colorado HMA can also be seen by taking County Road #49 to the west. County Road #49 is approximately 2-3 miles north of Farson on the west side of US 191 North. County Road #49 is a highly traveled road by the Oil & Gas Industry. County Roads are typically improved gravel roads maintained at scheduled intervals.

Therefore road conditions vary from very good to rough and rutted from wet weather and possibly impassable. It is easy to determine if you are in wild horse country by identifying the large piles of horse manure (stud piles) along road sides. Maps that cover this area are available at the Rock Springs Field Office located at 280 US 191 North. A quick stop at the field office would allow you to check local conditions and obtain maps.

The map needed for this area is Farson. Before traveling to the area, make sure your vehicle is in good repair. If it has not stormed recently, you can make this trip in any full or mid-sized passenger vehicle, but a four wheel drive sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) is recommended. Make sure your spare tire is usable and have drinking water and emergency supplies with you. This area is fairly isolated, and it could be some time before help could arrive. Do not attempt to make this trip during inclement weather. Be especially cautious when there is snow on the ground. Travel in the area is restricted to existing roads and trails. Cross-country travel is not allowed. Don’t forget to bring your camera and binoculars.

LOST CREEK HMA 

Administered by:   Rawlins Field Office

Location:   NW of Wamsutter, WY

Acres:   over 251,000

Elevation:   6,500 ft. – 6,800 ft.

AML:   60-82

Colors:   predominantly bay & brown

The Lost Creek HMA encompasses over 251,000 acres, of which 235,000 acres are BLM-administered public lands. This HMA is joined on the east by the Stewart Creek HMA, on the north by the Antelope Hills HMA, and on the west by the Divide Basin HMA. The HMA lies within the Great Divide Basin, a closed basin out of which no water flows. Some desert playa and vegetated dune areas are interspersed throughout the HMA. Several sensitive desert wetland riparian areas occur throughout the area, including both intermittent and perennial lakes and streams. Elevation ranges from 6,500 to 6,800 feet and the winters are long and severe. Annual precipitation averages a little less than six inches.

The AML for this HMA is 60- 82 horses. A full range of colors is present. 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. The Genetic Analysis of the Lost Creek HMA by Dr. Gus Cothran of Texas A&M University, October 14, 2010 states, “Genetic variability of this herd is fairly high. All values related to allelic diversity and heterozygosity are high. Genetic similarity results suggest a herd with mixed ancestry that primarily is North American. There is a possibility of some, although limited, Iberian ancestry.”

MCCULLOUGH PEAKS HMA

Wild horse photo by Susan Hahn.

The McCullough Peaks HMA is located 12 to 27 miles east of Cody (70 miles east of Yellowstone Park) and encompasses 109,814 acres of land, including the McCullough Peaks Wilderness Study Area. The climate is typical of a cold desert with annual precipitation averaging five to nine inches. Stock reservoirs and intermittent streams fed by winter snows and spring runoff provide adequate water for the HMA. Topography is highly variable, ranging from mostly flat to slightly rolling foothills carved by drainages, to colorful badlands and desert mountains featuring steep slopes, cliffs and canyons.

A diversity of coat colors (bay, brown, black, sorrel, chestnut, white, buckskin, gray, palomino, and blue, red and strawberry roans) and patterns such as piebald and skewbald are found in the McCullough Peaks wild horses. The animals tend to be moderate- to large-sized and habitat conditions are such that the horses are in very good condition. The combination of size, conformation, coat colors and patterns, and excellent physical condition have become a draw for potential adopters and a matter of reputation for “McCullough Peaks” horses.

The management objective for the HMA is to maintain a population of 100 wild horses; as of January, 2008, the population is 167 animals.

Link to genetic analysis:  http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/wy/field-offices/cody/wild_horses.Par.58081.File.dat/2004genetics.pdf

SALT WELLS HMA

Horses on the Salt Wells herd management area.

The Salt Wells HMA encompasses 1,193,283 acres, of which 724,704 acres are BLM-administered public lands. The majority of the herd management area consists primarily of checkerboard land ownership area created by the Union Pacific Railroad grant in the Northern portion. Consolidated public lands with state school sections and small parcels of private land making up the majority of lands in the southern section of the HMA. Topography within the herd area is generally gently rolling hills. There are several small streams passing through the area, and some high ridges. Elevations range roughly from 6,300 to 7,900 feet. Precipitation ranges 7-10 inches in lower elevations and 15-17 inches at higher elevations, predominately in the form of snow. The area is unfenced other than portions of boundary fence and right-of-way boundaries along I-80.

The AML for this HMA is 365 horses. A full range of colors is present. This herd has a high number of palominos and sorrels with flaxen manes and tails. Other horses colors are bay, brown, black, paint, buckskin, or gray. The Wyoming horses have a diverse background of many domestic horse breeds. They most closely related to North American gaited breeds such as Rocky Mountain Horse, American Saddlebred, Standardbred, and Morgan. The horses range from 14 to 15.5 hands and weigh between 750 and 1,100 pounds mature weight. The health of the horses is good, with no apparent problems.

Domestic cattle and sheep utilize the area lightly in the summer and moderately in the winter, cattle use predominating. Vegetation in the HMA is dominated by sagebrush and grass, with juniper, aspen, and conifers interspersed. Horses typically use a high amount of grass species, the most favorable being needlegrass, Indian ricegrass, wheatgrass, and sedges. The area supports significant wildlife populations including elk, deer, and antelope.

STEWART CREEK HMA

The Stewart Creek HMA encompasses 231,124 acres, of which 215,369 acres 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. Health is good with few apparent problems.

Domestic Livestock and Wildlife – Domestic cattle and sheep utilize the area in all seasons with summer cattle use predominating. Large numbers of pronghorn antelope and a few mule deer roam the area, small but healthy elk population is becoming established in the HMA. Sage grouse and a myriad of small animals use the area. The Shamrock Hills Raptor Concentration Area is nearby. Coyotes are abundant and an occasional mountain lion and bobcat call the area home. Crooks Mountain, Green Mountain, and Whiskey Peak are just north of the HMA. The Ferris Mountains are to the northeast. The Sweetwater Uranium Mill (not in operation) is just outside the southwest corner of the HMA.

WHITE MOUNTAIN HMA

The White Mountain HMA encompasses 392,649 acres, of which 240,416 acres are BLM-administered public lands. The majority of the HMA consists of checkerboard land ownership within the the Union Pacific Railroad grant. Consolidated public lands with state school sections and small parcels of private land make up the remaining lands in the northeast section of the HMA. The HMA is a high plateau that overlooks Rock Springs. Elevations range roughly from 6,300 to 7,900 feet. Precipitation ranges 6-10 inches, predominately in the form of snow. The area is unfenced except for portions of boundary fence and right-of-way boundaries along I-80 and 191 north.

The AML for this HMA is 250 horses. A full range of colors is present. This herd has a lot of color in it, many of which are paints. Other colors are bay, sorrel, red roan, black, or gray. The Wyoming horses have a diverse background of many domestic horse breeds. They are most closely related to North American gaited breeds such as Rocky Mountain Horse, American Saddlebred, Standardbred, and Morgan. The horses range from 14 to 15.5 hands and weigh between 750 and 1,100 pounds mature weight. The health of the horses is good.

Domestic cattle and sheep utilize the area lightly in the summer and moderately in the winter. Vegetation in the HMA is dominated by sagebrush and grass, with saltbrush, winterfat, and greasewood intermixed. Horses typically use a high amount of grass species, the most favorable being needlegrass, Indian ricegrass, wheatgrass, and Sedges. The area supports significant wildlife populations including elk, deer, and antelope.

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