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U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Toiyabe Wild Horse Territory

The Toiyabe Wild Horse Territory (WHT) is administered by the Austin/Tonopah Ranger District, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.


The Toiyabe WHT is located in Nevada approximately 35 miles north of Tonopah. The territory consists of 74,000 acres of National Forest land and is located on the south end of the Toiyabe Mountain Range.

The topography is mountainous. Elevations range from 6000 to 11,000 feet. Springs occur at the higher elevations and are a source of water along with perennial streams at the lower elevations. The climate is semi-arid with precipitation estimated at 12 inches per year.

Vegetation consists of Northern Desert Shrub type, Salt Desert Shrub type, and Pinyon-Juniper type. Principal plant species include Galeta grass, ricegrass, bluegrass, fescue, needlegrasses, lupine, bitterbrush, mahogany, winterfat, shadscale, Pinyon pine, and juniper.

Wildlife present within the territory include deer and mountain lion.

Livestock grazing is permitted within the territory.


The history of wild horses in the Toiyabe WHT has been clouded and confused by a chronic history of unauthorized used of private horses on the National Forest land. This situation of unauthorized use within the area by privately owned horses could have resulted in mistakes in the actual inventories of wild horses used to establish the designation of the Toiyabe WHT.

The Forest Service record regarding horses in this area can be traced back to 1951. Many horses had been turned loose and allowed to run wild on the open range. These horses and their use of National Forest lands were not authorized under permit. The horses belonged to several area ranchers and to members of the Yomba Indian tribe. From 1951 to 1971, the Forest Service took steps to document ownership of the horses and notified owners to remove them. None of the violators made a good faith effort to remove their unauthorized horses. Finally, in 1968, one of the ranchers, John Casey, was tried in a U.S. Magistrate’s court and was ordered to remove his horses from National Forest land. After Mr. Casey’s conviction and removal of unauthorized horses, the other violators also removed their animals. There is documentation that no horses were in the area from 1971 to 1973. However, there is also contradictory documentation stating the presence of 33-35 horses during the same time frame.

Since 1974, the Toiyabe WHT has been reported as having no wild horses present within its boundaries.

Herd Description

No wild horses occupy the Toiyabe Wild Horse Territory.

For More Information

Contact the Tonopah Ranger District at 775-482-6286.