BLM to remove up to 20 Nevada burros near Hickison HMA

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Wild burros move along a fence line. BLM Nevada photo.

The Bureau of Land Management was set to begin on Tuesday a bait-and-trap operation to remove up to 20 burros that it says are “damaging private property, land and crops” outside the Hickison Summit Burro Range Herd Management Area southeast of Austin, Nevada.

According to BLM planning documents, a private landowner with property about 4 miles from the herd management area has requested the removal after documenting up to 11 burros at a time “regularly entering private lands, causing damage to hay crops and fences, and consuming privately owned stacked hay.”

The BLM will set up temporary panels on the property and use feed and water to lure the burros in.

This is the second time burros have been removed from the property — nine were captured there in 2014 — but no other roundups have been conducted there since the passage of the Free-Roaming Wild Horses and Burros Act in 1971, according to BLM.

The herd management area a is located about 12 miles east of Austin in Lander County, Nevada, and is jointly run by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. The current burro population is estimated at 256 burros.

The BLM portion of the herd management area measures 57,634 acres and has a BLM-set “Appropriate Management Level” of 16 to 45 burros — as low as one burro for every 3,602 acres.

By comparison, 145 head of cattle are permitted are permitted to graze on two allotments that overlap the herd management area: 80 cattle from October to March and 65 from December to May, according to BLM documents.

The captured animals will be transported to the Palomino Valley Wild Horse and Burro Off-Range Corrals in Reno, Nevada, where they will be prepared for BLM’s adoption program.