The Bureau of Land Management reached its 200-burro goal on the third day of a helicopter roundup near the Selenite Range Herd Area, southeast of Empire, Nev.
Eighty-six jacks, 95 jennies, and 21 foals have been captured. Three jacks have been put down for what BLM described as pre-existing conditions: two with fractures of their front left legs with a “poor prognosis of recovery” and one with a right leg deformity.
The agency claimed a roundup of 200 burros was needed to improve public safety along Highway 447 and reduce impacts to private land because of concerns caused by burros that have wandered off of public land. In a press release, the BLM said that burros on and around Highway 447 “present a danger to travelers coming through the area.”
The 125,306-acre Selenite Range Herd Area is not managed for burros and has an agency-set “Appropriate Management Level” of 0. Burros from the have wandered into the Herd Area and onto private lands from five Herd Management Areas that are also part of the 2.3-million-acre Blue Wing Complex, along with four Herd Areas that are no longer managed for wild horses or burros.
The Blue Wing Complex has a total AML of 333-553 horses and 55-90 burros, compared to a maximum of 47,872 Animal Unit Months allocated to seasonal grazing of private livestock. One AUM is defined as the forage needed to sustain one cow and her calf, one horse, or five sheep or goats for a month.
Captured burros will be transported to the Palomino Valley Off-Range Corral, located outside of Sparks, Nev., where they will be readied for the agency’s adoption and sale program.
Viewing the roundup
Members of the public who wish to view the roundup should email firstname.lastname@example.org by Nov. 25. Once the roundup has started, they must call the gather hotline nightly at (775) 861-6700 to receive instructions on each days’ meeting place.
The following COVID-19 guidelines will apply:
· Facemasks are required for daily safety briefings and in the observation areas.
· Always stay at least 6 feet from others. Avoid gathering with others outside of your household.
· Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
· Bring hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol to use if soap and water are not available.
· Do not attend the gather if you are sick, recently exposed (within 14 days) to someone with COVID-19 or are not feeling well.
TAKE ACTION: Urge Congress to press the Bureau of Land Management to implement a robust program of proven, safe and humane fertility control in order to phase out roundups and manage wild horses and burros humanely on the range