Mount Grant looms dramatically above the western shoreline of Walker Lake. The majority of the site is managed by the Hawthorne Army Depot, the western portion by the Bureau of Land Management, with some private lands (primarily patented mining claims) on the southern end. Most of the recognized IBA has not been grazed in over 70 years. The area is topographically diverse and geologically complex. The Nature Conservancy identified four riparian and nine upland plant communities on Mount Grant-Mixed Shrub Scrub, Great Basin Sagebrush Scrub, Cottonwood Riparian Forest, Aspen Forest, Pinyon Woodland, Juniper Woodland, Mountain Mahogany Woodland, Willow Riparian Scrub, Montane Meadow, Mountain Sagebrush Scrub, Low Sagebrush Scrub, Subalpine Pine Forest, and Alpine Scrub. Perennial streams include Cottonwood, Dutch, Squaw, Rose, House, Cat, and Lapon creeks. The plant communities are in good-to-excellent condition, serving as ecological baselines for similar habitats in the Great Basin.
The importance of the site for Nevada birds is the exemplary condition of the habitat which supports a high diversity of upland bird species as well as riparian species. Because it has not been grazed in over 70 years (unique in Nevada), the habitat is in such good condition that it serves as an ecological baseline for these Great Basin plant communities. There is potential for research on these ecosystems, on birds and other aspects of the ecosystem that can be of high-value in conservation of Great Basin Bird communities.
The Hawthorne Army Depot, which manages the bulk of this site, has been identified for closure since (but continues to operate). Access to the site is significantly restricted because of its status, and as such little or no disturbance to wildlife occurs within most of the IBA. The concern is that the site will revert to BLM management if Hawthorne Army Depot closes, and could then be opened to grazing, ORVs, unregulated recreation, and other sources of stress that could alter the site.