Bureau of Land Management to gather excess wild burros near Empire and Porter Springs

Winnemucca, Nev. – To reduce vehicle collisions associated with an overpopulation of wild burros, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will begin a bait-trap operations on, or about June 1 to gather up to 200 wild burros from the Seven Troughs herd management area near Porter Springs and Empire, Nevada. The Humboldt River Field Office will conduct gather operations for approximately 45 days using water and/or hay to bait wild burros into a trap of corral panels.

The population of wild burros in the area was estimated at 240 animals as of February 2019 – more than five times above the target population of 28-46 animals. Due to limited forage and water within the Seven Troughs herd management area, excess wild burros are now leaving public rangelands and crossing roadways in search of resources. Vehicle collisions with wild burros have occurred on Highway 399 and burros have been spotted on Highway 447 south of Empire, Nev. as well as within the town of Empire. Resource damage around the Porter Springs Recreation Management Area has also been attributed to the overpopulation of wild burros.

The BLM’s priority is to conduct safe, efficient, and successful wild burro gather operations while ensuring humane care and treatment of all animals. The BLM will use the best available science and handling practices for wild burros while meeting the overall gather goals and objectives in accordance with its Comprehensive Animal Welfare Policy. Because animals are reluctant to approach the trap site when there is too much activity, only essential gather operation personnel will be allowed at the trap site during gather operations.

Wild burros identified for removal will be transported to the Palomino Valley Center in Reno, Nev., where they will be checked by a veterinarian and prepared for the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Adoption and Sale Program. For information on how to bring home a wild horse or burro, visit www.blm.gov/whb

The BLM is conducting the gather under the DOI-BLM-NV-W010-2015-0034-EA Blue Wing Complex Gather Plan Decision signed on October 23, 2017.  Access the Decision Record at https://go.usa.gov/xmwqy. Once the gather is underway, the BLM will post gather reports and additional information on its website at https://go.usa.gov/xmGjA. For technical information, contact Samantha Gooch, Wild Horse and Burro Specialist at (775) 623-1519.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in the 11 Western states and Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In fiscal year 2018, the diverse activities authorized on BLM-managed lands generated $105 billion in economic output across the country. This economic activity supported 471,000 jobs and contributed substantial revenue to the U.S. Treasury and state governments, mostly through royalties on minerals.

Release Date


Bureau of Land Management


Humboldt Field Office


Jenny Lesieutre