The Bureau of Land Management gathered 12 burros on Friday, June 15, from agricultural fields near Palo Verde. The gather was to collect burros that have wandered out of the Chocolate-Mule Mountains Herd Area onto nearby farm fields. Helicopter gather operations are now complete.
Private landowners report there are up to 50 burros still on private land. The field office will proceed with future actions as needed through water and bait trapping throughout the year.
Herd Areas (HAs) are those geographic areas where wild horses and/or burros were found at the passage of the Wild Horse and Burros Act in 1971. Herd Management Areas (HMAs) are those areas within Herd Areas where the decision has been made, through Land Use Plans, to manage for populations of wild horses and/or burros. There are 33 Herd Areas and 22 Herd Management Areas within California.
The Bureau of Land Management is removing wild burros from private lands near the Chocolate-Mule Mountains Herd Area. The area is in extreme northeast Imperial County on private agriculture fields near the town of Palo Verde, just south of Blythe, Calif. Here, burros have strayed from the Chocolate-Mule Mountains Herd Area, are drinking water from irrigation ditches, trailing through and foraging on the irrigated crops, and feeding on hay stacks.
The burros are crossing roads and Highway 78. These burros are classified as nuisance burros because they are continually entering private property and creating a public safety hazard. On Sept. 23, 2011, the El Centro Field Office received letters from Robinson Farms and Jack Seiler Farms requesting burros be removed from their private lands. According to federal regulations, “upon written request from the private landowner to any representative of the Bureau of Land Management, the authorized officer shall remove stray wild horses and burros from private lands as soon as practicable.”
To address nuisance burros that may continue to move from public lands onto private lands, the use of water/bait trapping on the private lands may occur throughout the remainder of calendar year 2012.
All removed burros will be placed into the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program. The health and welfare of all the animals is the highest priority.
A Categorical Exclusion for the Chocolate-Mule Mountains was signed on June 12, 2012.