Safety concerns lead to area burro collection

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management will collect burros in the Pahrump Valley community near the Johnnie Herd Management Area, the agency announced last week.

The food and water bait gather corrals could be in place for several days to several months, depending on the burros’ movements through the area.

The BLM is planning to collect approximately 30-40 burros from the Pahrump Valley area, utilizing temporary bait gather corrals consisting of a series of corral panels, hay and water and will take place on private land where wild burros have been causing property damage. The burros will be available for adoption after gather operations end. The timing of this collection is important, as burro-vehicle accidents and private land owner issues usually increase during the fall as the weather begins cooling off.

The burros are being gathered because they pose a safety hazard along State Route 160, side roads in the Pahrump Valley, and have caused private property damage in the Valley, the BLM said. Six individuals have contacted BLM directly regarding the wild burro issues in the Pahrump Valley in the last month.

Since October of 2010, at least five burros in the Johnnie Herd Management Area were killed or had to be euthanized due to vehicle collisions. There have been no reported human injuries or fatalities related to these accidents at this time.

“These particular burros are habituated to being in the Pahrump Valley and they have stopped foraging and moving throughout the Johnnie Herd Management Area,” said Krystal Johnson, Wild Horse and Burro Specialist. “They have lost their normal wild characteristics and have become public safety hazards and are causing issues on private land.”

The BLM issued a warning to drivers traveling on roads on North 160 and through Red Rock Canyon in April. Burros often are standing beside the roadways and are not easily seen.

The public is reminded that feeding wild horses and burros is dangerous as wild animals can be unpredictable. Feeding also affects the animals’ behavior and can be hazardous to their overall health and safety.

The Pahrump Field Office will facilitate private, local adoptions of as many burros as possible and look at additional adoptions through placement into the Humane Society for the United States Platero Project burro gentling and training program. Individuals interested in adopting these burros must complete an adoption application and meet the BLM requirements to adopt.