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Re: BLM to Gather Wild Burros in California Desert for Adoption

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avatar BLM to Gather Wild Burros in California Desert for Adoption
September 10, 2009 07:38PM
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will begin gathering excess wild burros from public lands in the California Desert starting next week. The animals will be made available for adoption through BLM’s national Wild Horse and Burro adoption program.

BLM's California Desert District Manager Steve Borchard said about 20-40 burros must be gathered from a narrow strip of public lands between the Army's Fort Irwin and Death Valley National Park, primarily due to a shortage of water from Owl Hole Spring. Water availability is becoming increasingly scarce because of evaporation and consumption by burros and other wildlife.

BLM plans to build temporary fences and panels around the spring to capture the animals as they enter, a technique called water trapping. Borchard said some of these panels would be specialized for wildlife to allow easy access for deer and bighorn sheep.

BLM staff will check the spring daily for burros. The burros will be transported to the Ridgecrest Wild Horse and Burro Facility where they will be prepared for adoption. Borchard said burros generally adjust well to domestication and are adopted for use as pack animals, riding, pulling carts or wagons, guard animals for livestock, and as pets. Information on adoption can be obtained by calling (760) 384-5765.

Borchard said BLM also plans to gather about 160 burros later this month from public lands in the Slate Range adjacent to Death Valley National Park and in the Chemehuevi area near Needles. He explained that BLM gathers wild horses and burros under provisions of the 1971 Wild, Free-roaming Horse and Burro Act. The law requires BLM to protect, manage, and control wild horse and burro populations and to remove animals under specified conditions, including for public safety, for animals not living within established herd management areas, or those straying onto lands not covered under the Act, such as national parks and military reservations.

BLM analyzes the environmental impacts of these gathers through preparation of environmental assessments (EAs) which include public involvement. Information on the Owl Hole EA is available from the Barstow Field Office, 2601 Barstow Road, Barstow, CA 92311, phone: (760) 252-6000. Information on the EAs for other gathers is available from the Ridgecrest Field Office, 300 South Richmond Road, Ridgecrest, CA 93555, phone: (760) 384-5400.
avatar Re: BLM to Gather Wild Burros in California Desert for Adoption
September 13, 2009 02:51PM
Big fights in NV about the wild horses. There simply are too many of them and BLM has floated the idea of euthanasia. Even T. Boone's wife has jumped into the fray to save the animals. We'll see how this comes out on the human side of it, the animals can't decide, all they do is breed when conditions are favorable for that. My inclination is let nature take its course, or open that particular game to hunting. Lots to think about and maybe even attempt to debate on this subject.
avatar Re: BLM to Gather Wild Burros in California Desert for Adoption
September 13, 2009 09:23PM
Quote
Vince
Big fights in NV about the wild horses. There simply are too many of them and BLM has floated the idea of euthanasia. Even T. Boone's wife has jumped into the fray to save the animals. We'll see how this comes out on the human side of it, the animals can't decide, all they do is breed when conditions are favorable for that. My inclination is let nature take its course, or open that particular game to hunting. Lots to think about and maybe even attempt to debate on this subject.

Translation: ranchers want the land for grazing their cattle.
Re: BLM to Gather Wild Burros in California Desert for Adoption
September 13, 2009 10:32PM
I live 25 miles west of a wild horse refuge in the Big Horn Basin of Wyoming, and spend as much time there as I can ATVing on specified roads. I recently learned that the McCulloch Peaks at one time had a modest burro population, and I wonder if the BLM would consider a reintroduction. Also, fence maintenance notwithstanding, I believe there is no competition for forage between cattle and horses on the refuge. The BLM has also placed plastic-lined galvanized steel tanks to provide water during drought conditions. Over the past 100 years, permit grazers and the BLM have also constructed small earthen dams to provide water.

At least one commercial tour operator in Cody conducts refuge tours, and the horses do not appear to be at all stressed. Regulations require not approaching within 500 feet of the horses, but I've seen several occasions where they came to within 5 yards of me.
avatar Re: BLM to Gather Wild Burros in California Desert for Adoption
September 14, 2009 06:46AM
I realize that horses are not burros, but there has been a lot of equine related news lately.

Sept 26 is Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Day (take a wild burro to work day???)
http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/wild_horse_and_burro.html

Recent discussion of roundup and release of horses in Pryor Mountain area Montana
(sounds like an expensive operation involving helicopter herding)

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article6831571.ece
For the first two hours of the bone-jarring drive into the Pryor Mountains you do not see much but rocks, scrubland and tree stumps charred by a recent forest fire.
It is only when you reach the subalpine meadows at 8,000ft (2,400m) looking over the vast, red rock deserts of Wyoming below that the creatures begin to emerge slowly. They are a magnificent sight: wild horses, their lineage unbroken from the horses that arrived with Spanish conquistadors about 500 years earlier.
This particular herd has even greater historical significance: its ancestors were tamed by the pioneering Lewis and Clark Expedition across the West but were stolen by the Crow tribe, who set them free.
They have been living in almost complete isolation ever since, protected by a 1971 Act of Congress which declared that wild horses, or mustangs, be “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West”.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
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