U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
For Release: January 16, 2007
Decision Record Signed for Wild Burro Removal
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has signed a Decision Record to remove an estimated 100-150 burros from public lands administered by BLM in the former Clark Mountain Herd Area just north of Interstate 15 in San Bernardino County.
In an amendment to the California Desert Plan covering the Northern and Eastern Mojave Desert approved in 2002, BLM eliminated the Clark Mountain Herd Management Area to provide for the recovery of the threatened desert tortoise within the designated Ivanpah Desert Wildlife Management Area.
During the BLM's management planning process for the Northern and Eastern Mojave Desert, the decision to remove the herd at Clark Mountain was made based on recommendations of the Desert Tortoise Recovery Plan. Much of the remaining herd area for the burros now overlaps with critical habitat for the desert tortoise and their coexistence is detrimental to the recovery of the tortoise. This plan decision was made with full public involvement.
This roundup and removal of the burros for adoption will implement that planning decision, made after extensive public involvement over a seven-year period of development. An environmental assessment on the removal plan was issued on November 22, 2006, and all public comments received have been fully considered.
The National Park Service (NPS) has agreed to cooperate with the capture and allow removal of animals that have trespassed onto NPS managed lands on the Mojave National Preserve. The NPS General Management Plan for the area does not provide for burros in the Preserve. The NPS is also providing use of corrals for temporary holdings facilities.
The initial capture period could begin as early as January 22 and could continue into spring. Gathering methods will include helicopter assisted trapping, roping and water/bait trapping. The helicopter will be used to locate and herd the targeted animals to the capture site and assist wranglers in capturing the animals. No helicopter landings will occur in BLM or NPS designated wilderness or wilderness study areas.
This decision is issued full force and effect in accordance with Title 43 Code of Federal Regulations 4770.3 (c) that allows for the immediate removal of excess burros when necessary. Additional information is available in the Decision Record and the environmental assessment posted on the web at: www.blm.gov/ca/needles/ or from BLM's Needles Field Office at (760) 326-7000.
California Desert District Office