The Stone Cabin Herd Management Area (HMA) is located 28 miles east of Tonopah, Nevada, in Nye County. The area consists of 404,381 acres and encompasses an area 48 miles long and 23 miles wide at its widest point. The elevation of the valley floor ascends from a low of 5,300 feet in elevation to a high of 6,300 feet. The surrounding mountain ranges vary between 8,400 feet to 9,400 feet. Mean annual precipitation averages between 4 and 8 inches per year in the valley and 8 to 16 inches in the mountains. Most of the precipitation arrives during the winter months.
The Stone Cabin HMA is open on two sides to U.S. Forest Service administered lands, on the east by the Reveille HMA, and on the south by the Nellis Test Range. The Stone Cabin HMA is crossed at its mid point by U.S. Highway 6 which runs from Tonopah to Ely. Much of the valley consists of gentle alluvial slopes underlain by sediments shed from the Monitor Mountain Range on the west and the Hot Creek and Kawich ranges on the east.
This area is part of the Great Basin which is a cold desert biome often dominated by shrubby vegetation. Dominant vegetation communities are composed of sagebrush, white sage, shadscale, fourwing saltbush, Indian ricegrass, galleta grass, and rabbitbrush. Some pinyon juniper woodlands are found at the upper elevations.
The very first Congressionally approved wild horse gather after the passage of the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971 was conducted in this HMA. In the late 1980's, the University of Minnesota conducted a fertility study in the Stone Cabin HMA. There are still two collared horses from that study in this area.This HMA was historically home to the "Stone Cabin Grey" type of horse. Recent gathers and drought have reduced these animals, so few remain.
The "Stone Cabin Greys" are offspring of a prized Steeldust Grey Thoroughbred (famous in Texas for producing some very pretty and long-legged quarter horses) that Jack Longstreet (famous gunfighter) put out in the Stone Cabin Valley. With the mixing of some very fine quarterhorse stock by the grandfather of the current Stone Cabin rancher, there have been some outstanding and distinctive horses, especially greys, produced. One reason these greys are distinctive is because they roan out differently than most typical grey horses. Most greys just get lighter and lighter as they get older, but the steeldust greys often become almost blue roans,with dark manes and tails for a long time after they "grey out."
The following picture was taken during the Stone Cabin Complex Gather of '07, and is more than likely a relative of Augustus, maybe even his brother or father. When staring at this picture, I see many similarities. :) Make sure you click on the picture for a much larger view.