The video of the burro and the yellow helicopter appears to be an incident that occurred during a BLM-California gather that occurred in September 2009 on public lands in the Panamint Valley area of California Desert. BLM witnessed the pilot and helicopter under contract to BLM come in contact with the burro; the BLM official onsite immediately radioed the pilot and demanded he back away from the burro. The pilot did so, and the burro regained his footing, did not appear injured and ran off up the hill. In that day's official Contract Diary the BLM official noted the incident and said he informed the contractor: 'I did not want aggressive maneuvers trying to get a burro to turn, and if need be, to let it go.' The contractor complied and there were no further incidents for the duration of the round-up. BLM-California did not use that contractor again as the national contract was not renewed."
The BLM completed the Cibola-Trigo Wild Burro gather Thursday, June 14, 2012, gathering 350 wild burros safely without any incidents to burros or personnel. BLM completed daily gathers or shut down operations when the temperature reached 95 degrees. All animals will be transported to the BLM Ridgecrest facility and made available for adoption to citizens willing and prepared to provide good care.
Goal of the Gather:
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Colorado River District Yuma Field Office began to gather 350 wild burros from the Cibola-Trigo Herd Management Area (HMA) Wednesday, June 6, 2012. The gather was postponed twice, and is expected to last about two weeks.
The Appropriate Management Level (AML) for wild burros in the Cibola-Trigo HMA is 165 and 150 for wild horses. There are an estimated 711 wild burros within the Cibola-Trigo HMA according to projections from a population inventory completed in May 2010. Overgrazing by wild burros in crucial areas of the Cibola-Trigo HMA is preventing recovery of the vegetation on those sites.
During the hotter months of the year, burros congregate along the river because of water and forage needs. Removal operations during the time that the animals are congregated near the river have been shown to be less stressful on the animals, safer, and more efficient to accomplish the BLM gather objective. This is because wild burros are within 3 to 5 miles of permanent water, and reduces the distance and time involved in herding them to the trap location.
According to the Yuma Field Office Wild Burro Gather Standard Operating Procedures, BLM will start daily operations no earlier than 5:00 a.m. each day for the entire period of the gather and continue until the 95 degree threshold has been reached. Every hour, the BLM safety officer will determine the ambient temperature within close proximity of the gather area. Once the temperature reaches 95 degrees, the gather operations will cease. An Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) veterinarian will be stationed at the trap area during the gather operation and when there are burros present, he will regularly conduct visual examinations on the animals. If the veterinarian determines a potential health issue, he will make recommendations to the Contracting Officer Representative, if any actions need to be taken.
Details of the Gather:
The BLM plans to humanely gather 350 wild burros in order to restore and maintain a thriving ecological balance and multiple use relationship. The gather will last approximately two weeks. The BLM invites the public to observe the gather results of the gather by following the links in the right column.
Those who wish to observe the gather in person can get information by clicking on the "Observation Opportunities" link at right.
Animals removed from the Cibola-Trigo HMA will be available for adoption once they are vaccinated, wormed, and freeze-marked. These remarkable burros are highly desirable, and the BLM expects them to be in demand. The animals removed will be transported the BLM Ridgecrest Regional Wild Horse and Burro Facility. To adopt a Cibola-Trigo burro, contact the BLM at 1-866-4MUSTANGS.
For BLM news releases and statements issued about the Cibola-Trigo gather, check our Newsroom.
The Cibola-Trigo HMA, encompassing 635,685 acres, is in southwestern Arizona and extreme southeastern California. The HMA supports populations of wild horses and burros that use lands administered by the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the BLM. BLM is responsible for managing the herd according to the Wild and Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971. The HMA receives about 3 to 6 inches of precipitation annually. Approximately 60 percent of the precipitation occurs during the winter season. The remaining precipitation occurs as short duration, high intensity summer thunderstorms.
The last major wild burro removal within the Cibola-Trigo HMA was in 2002, when 282 wild burros were gathered. Between August 1997 and May 2002, a total of 1,390 wild burros were removed and placed for adoption. Budget constraints would not allow additional removals except for a small gather of 100 burros in September 2010.
For more information on the Wild Horse and Burro Program, call 866-468-7826 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.