Public safety concerns are prompting the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to gather about 75 wild burros on private land in the Pahrump area, the federal government announced this week.
The gather is taking place on a portion of the Johnnie Herd Management Area.
“The burros are crossing Nevada State Route 160 and traveling into the northwest portion of the town of Pahrump, where they have entered private properties and caused damage to fencing, water lines and vegetation,” the bureau said in a statement.
Several burros have also been hit by vehicles along the highway.
The Johnnie Herd Management Area can traditionally support up to 108 burros.
But the current estimated population is 311 burros, nearly three times the level that the available water and forage on the range can support along with other uses of the land, making this operation especially important, the bureau said.
“The BLM strives to be a good neighbor in the communities we serve, providing opportunities for economic growth with space for traditional uses such as ranching,” its statement said.
The BLM said it plans to gather and remove approximately 75 burros using the water and bait method, consisting of a series of corral panels stocked with hay and water. No helicopters will be used.
“Because of the nature of the bait and water gather method, wild burros are reluctant to approach the trap site when there is too much activity,” the BLM said. “Therefore, only essential gather operation personnel will be allowed at the trap site during operations.”
The contractor for this gather is Sampson Livestock out of Meadow, Utah.
Excess wild burros removed from the range are to be transported to the Ridgecrest Regional Wild Horse and Burro Corrals in Ridgecrest, California. There, they will be checked by a veterinarian and readied for the BLM’s wild horse and burro adoption program.
Check the Pahrump Valley Times and pvtimes.com for updates on this story.