In 2006/2007 the Adobetown Herd Management Area (HMA) was rounded up to bring the HMA to its Appropriate Management Level (AML). Given that the HMA is now at AML, a suite of projects have been identified that will improve wildhorse and livestock distribution, rangeland health, and reduce wildhorse movement outside the HMA. The majority of livestock use in this area includes winter sheep, and water development is lacking throughout the HMA. Six miles of pipeline, a number of short pipelines, troughs and supplies for several water wells are proposed. An existing network of pipelines and troughs could be rehabilitated with the purchase and installation of a large solar pump. Four spring developments and small pits below badlands are proposed, while machinery is in the area. With the assistance of the Wyoming Conservation Corp Crew (WCC), a number of low-tech erosion control and water harvesting measures to improve two-track roads could also be completed. Plans for several small rock mulches could also be constructed to improve water infiltration while reducing runoff and soil erosion. With the assistance of the WCC, supplies for fence repair and reconstruction work by the permittees, signs for the HMA boundary and replacing wire gates, that get left open by the public, with steel gates is also requested. Four horse-friendly cattle-guards on less traveled roads are also proposed. An extensive vegetation monitoring effort is planned for 2008, for which a seasonal employee with vehicle would greatly assist with the overall goal of tracking successful Herd Area Management.
The Adobetown HMA is the largest HMA in the Rawlins Field Office, includes a wilderness study area, provides a home to abundant antelope, mule deer and elk herds, and is surrounded by – and becoming impacted by, extensive oil and gas development. Extended drought, and back-to-back years of high horse numbers have affected rangeland health, and riparian areas, which previously failed Standards and Guidelines assessment due to wildhorse concentration areas around them. Development of reliable water sources is the principle tool managers have to manage wildhorse distribution, improve riparian and rangeland health, and reduce competition for forage and habitat with big game. Protection of natural water sources in addition to creating new locations will also benefit wildlife species in this area. Measures taken to contain wildhorses within the HMA would reduce competition with wildlife and livestock, higher costs to remove these horses, and lower injury and mortality of wildhorses which get caught in normal cattleguards. Chemical treatment of decadent sagebrush in the uplands occurs gradually to thin brush density without the need to keep wildhorses off to promote recovery (as needed with prescribed burns). Lower rainfall and ground cover in this area reduces the success achieved from burning, however, the various projects and treatment would promote improved cover and forage production for all grazers, as well as watershed value and function in the upper Colorado River drainage.