Herds Across the West: Carracas Mesa Herd Management Area

Our blog series, Herds Across the West, examines wild horses and burros by herd, Herd Management Area (HMA) and state to provide a deeper understanding as we report on roundups and actions affecting each region.

Carracas Mesa Herd Management Area | New Mexico

Where to Find Them

The Carracas Mesa Herd Management Area is one of only two HMAs in all of New Mexico. The HMA is 35 miles northeast of Bloomfield, New Mexico, south of the Colorado border, and east of Navajo Lake.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) managed herd area is 8,999 acres. The adjacent U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Jicarilla Ranger District-managed Jicarilla Wild Horse Territory (WHT) is approximately 76,000 acres. The BLM and USFS jointly manage the Jicarilla wild horse herd.

The Appropriate Management Level (AML) is 23 horses. The USFS Jicarilla WHT AML is 50-105, making the joint management AML for the herd 73-128.

Photo: BLM

The History

The history of the Jicarilla wild horses is vague, but appears to be based on cavalry stock and ranch horses from the area, along with an influx of horses from the adjacent Jicarilla Apache Reservation. Genetic testing has indicated a mixed breeding background. Colors vary from bay to paint. 

The wild horses share their habitat with other wildlife such as black bear, mountain lions, mule deer, elk, bald and golden eagles, red tail hawks, ravens, and a host of smaller terrestrial wildlife.  

Livestock grazing is permitted on most of the Herd Area, while an approximately 9,000 acre parcel has been relinquished for wildlife and wild horses.

There are no roundups planned for the Carracas Mesa HMA at this time.