Buffalo Hills Wilderness Study Area

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Wilderness Area Statusphoto_buffalohills128tm_bbeffort_150d_400x265.jpg

Wilderness Study Area
Year Designated:

Act or Law:
Acres: 45287
State Region: Northwest Nevada
County Regions: Washoe   


Managing Agency: Bureau of Land Management
Local District: Eagle Lake Field Office
Contact Info: (530) 257-0456photo_buffalohills_deer_bbeffort_150d_400x289.jpg
2950 Riverside Drive  Susanville, CA96130
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Breaking News- April 7, 2023

On April 7, 2023, Senator Rosen released a working draft of the Truckee Meadows Public Lands Management Act. A portion of this act includes permanent protection for 268,658 acres of the Dry Valley Rim, Twin Peaks, Buffalo Hills, and Poodle Mountain Wilderness Study Areas re-branded as the Smoke Creek National Conservation Area (NCA). Included within the proposed NCA are the Burro Wilderness (6,343 acres) and Wrangler Wilderness (49,540 acres).

Area Description

The Buffalo Hills WSA is a relatively flat terrain with small rims and shallow canyons. A point of interest is Hole-in-the-Ground, a shallow caldera 200 feet deep and one mile wide. Dominant vegetation is sagebrush with shrubs, grasses and scattered juniper.

This highly popular hunting area (for antelope, deer and chukar) provides an estimated 3,500 hunter days from August thru December.

The Buffalo Hills WSA is part of a larger complex of wilderness study areas, with Poodle Mountain, Twin Peaks, Skedaddle and Dry Valley Rim WSAs. Burro Mountain, Tule Peak and the Granite Range together ensure the connectivity from Hart Mountain through the Sheldon, Wall Canyon, and Black Rock regions through to the Sierra Nevada.

Throughout this sweeping complex, benches, canyons, groves, ephemeral lakes and rock outcrops provide varied topography and habitats for sage-grouse and other wildlife. In the last decade, thousands of acres of private lands in this complex were made public through funding from the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act.

The now-public springs and riparian areas in this complex provide essential brood habitat for sage-grouse. Managing these areas to enhance ecological health will benefit not only sage-grouse population growth, but also other wildlife and human visitors as well.

This Wilderness Study Area is a component of the Bureau of Land Management's National Conservation Lands.


Pronghorn, deer, chukar, a variety of raptors, songbirds and many sagebrush-dependent species.