Horse News

Man made drought from too much mining in one area, and BLM’s “tool in their toolbox” of using complaints of overgrazing livestock ranchers, give BLM excuse to round up wild burros in Winnemucca

And then, the BLM will send the burros straight to private property on the Indian Lakes Rd. feedlot in Fallon, NV, where there is only a rare (about once a year, if you’re lucky) public tour, and little chance for the burros to be adopted except when BLM floods internet adoptions with the burros all at once, so the burros rack up 3 strikes quickly and become eligible to be shipped off to buyers/auctions/the slaughter pipeline.  Note that the BLM only allotted 21 – 45 burros, a non-viable herd number, on this HMA.  BLM continues their rampage of managing wild horses and burros to extinction.   –  Debbie



BLM: Drought drives wild burros to Winnemucca ranches

by Marcella Corona        (photo:  RGJ file)

The Bureau of Land Management is set to start gathering wild burros after the drought recently drove the animals into nearby ranches in search of water in the Winnemucca area.

In July last year, BLM officials counted 101 burros in the McGee Mountain Herd Management Area and nearby places.  But officials predict about 146 burros based off of a May report from the U.S. Geological Survey.  That’s not including foals.

“We haven’t done a wild burro gather in a few years,” BLM Winnemucca District spokeswoman Terah Malsam said. “This was more so a request from land owners because the burros have come off HMA land and are breaking down fences to find water sources.”

The animals are normally able to live on the McGee Mountain Herd area, which is managed for burros, but the drought dried up their water sources and impacted their forage, she said.

“There are too many burros in the HMA, and with the existing water left over from this winter and spring, there’s isn’t a lot so it’s pushing them out to other areas to look for water,” Malsam said.

Only 25 to 41 burros should be managed within the McGee Mountain Herd area – a level that’s now way over the limit, Malsam said.

Officials expect to gather at least 125 wild burros starting mid-August. Although the gathering could last several months, BLM officials hope to finish the job within a month. The burros will then be taken to Indian Lakes Off-Range Corral in Fallon.

“They go to an off-range corral where they’re given their shots and vaccinations,” Malsam said. “From there, they’ll be prepared for adoption or moved to a long term facility.

“We’re trying to manage for the health of the burros and the land,” she said. “When they don’t have enough water and go in an impact private land, then it becomes an issue.

“With the combination of drought and overpopulation, it leads to unhealthy burros and the fact that they have to strive for food and water elsewhere.”

12 replies »

  1. They are so beautiful. This is shameful – as usual. Just look what is happening to that gold mine on the Animas River! Yeah, lets allow more mining!


  2. BLM Publishes Notice of Intent for the Initiation of the Hycroft Mine Expansion – Phase 2 Environmental Impact Statement

    Release Date: 01/07/15
    Terah Malsam , 775-623-1518,

    BLM Publishes Notice of Intent for the Initiation of the Hycroft Mine Expansion – Phase 2 Environmental Impact Statement

    Winnemucca, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Winnemucca District (WD), Black Rock Field Office, published a Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Hycroft Mine Expansion Project- Phase 2, Humboldt and Pershing Counties, Nev. in the Federal Register on December 30, 2014.

    Hycroft Resources and Development Inc.’s proposal includes expanding the Plan boundary to the east; constructing and operating the Northeast Tailings Storage Facility and associated pipeline corridor and haul road; expanding the existing Brimstone pit; and constructing a 60 to 85 mile long 345kV power-line route. Disturbance on public land will increase by 8,796 acres, from 4,360 acres to 13,156 acres.


  3. Caldera

    Caldera Energy Limited is a pure geothermal exploration company focused on the development of volcanic and hot sedimentary geothermal resources in Emerging Markets. Our current priority is Latin America, specifically Chile, but we also evaluate projects around the Pacific “Ring of Fire” and East Africa.

    Caldera is part of the Heimdall Energy Solutions Group, which is dedicated to the provision of cost-effective, base-load renewable energy to the merchant power sector.

    Its sister company, Gaiagen Limited, is a renewable power development company, which seeks technically derisked projects at bankable feasibility or appraisal stage.


  4. The National Defense Appropriations Act/NEVADA

    The National Defense Appropriations Act (NDAA) set for a Senate vote this week contains language that will forever change the West. Renewal of many grazing permits would be exempted from public oversight and environmental review by being tucked in with a sprawling public lands package, undermining the already inadequate public lands grazing management performed by federal agencies

    The new laws would mean that the BLM and Forest Service must continue status quo grazing regardless of the environmental laws being violated until the agencies have sufficient funding (or inclination) to do otherwise.
    If this seems like a bad dream, it is.
    Congressman RAUL LABRADOR and
    Senator JOHN BARASSO
    snuck the language of the Grazing “Improvement” Act (GIA) into this must-pass defense bill.

    The bill is ostensibly about national defense. Bills like this are often called “must pass” legislation because national defense is so important. Because of this they can attract many amendments that would otherwise die on their own.

    Sec. 3023, Grazing Permits and Leases, would automatically renew livestock grazing permits on tens of millions of acres of public lands even where grazing operations are degrading wildlife habitat and fouling streams and rivers. No environmental analysis under NEPA, and no compliance with other applicable laws, would be required at the time of renewal, inhibiting citizens’ ability to protect public lands from harm. Sec. 3023 would further exacerbate habitat degradation that imperils the sage grouse and hasten the need for the species’ protection under the Endangered Species Act.

    Sec. 3064 and 3066, Pine Forest Range Wilderness and Wovoka Wilderness, respectively, would grant exceptions to the Wilderness Act allowing the State of Nevada to routinely land helicopters and manipulate natural habitat conditions in direct contravention of basic tenets of the Wilderness Act.Such provisions diminish the meaning of Wilderness and degrade the National Wilderness Preservation System.


  5. This is truly a sad day for the burros of Winnemucca. Is or was there an EA for comment on this removal? Because the BLM has contributed to the problem by allowing too much mining in the area causing the drought, the BLM should ship in water troughs and water for the burros so they can stay on THEIR HMA. The BLM is to blame not the burros, who are being punished for the extremely poor judgment of the BLM.

    You would think that Montana, “Big Sky Country”, best place for hunting & fishing would have the most pristine waterways! Not exactly. Montana has a very high percentage of impaired waters, and most of it is due to mining. Mining is one of the worse things that destroys our public lands. We do not have the pristine waters that you would think we should have. Right now we are battling with one of the very few pristine rivers left in Montana, the Smith River, and a proposal for a nearby copper mine. It’s not a well known river that flows between the Big and Little Belt Mountains. Floaters love this river. It is the highlight of many people’s summer vacations. The only way to win a spot to float the river is to sign up for a lottery during the winter months. The nearest town is White Sulpher Springs with 970 residents. The mining company is schmoozing the residents into agreeing with their proposals. Me, I love White Sulpher Springs. I’ve attended fiddle camp there and it is the most gorgeous place to be. It should be left alone. That’s my humble opinion. So, I have been actively signing every petition out there to keep the mining company out.


  6. “The public lands of the United States are a hallmark of our democracy and harbor some of the greatest resources of our nation”

    The public lands of the United States are a hallmark of our democracy and harbor some of the greatest resources of our nation. Federally managed lands-owned by all Americans-total 623 million acres, or more than 25 percent of the U.S. land base. There are four major federal land agencies-the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), the National Park Service (NPS), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). State agencies and other government departments oversee millions of acres of additional public land.

    The vast majority of the federal public lands are in the western United States, where they serve as sources of clean water, recreation, scenic beauty, and inspiration. The public lands are wildlife habitat and in many cases provide the only remaining suitable environments for jeopardized species. On the large blocks of acreage provided by the public lands, restoration and maintenance of landscape-scale ecological processes-such as wildfires-are feasible and desirable. Elsewhere, the prerogatives of commercial enterprise and other human needs usually dominate.
    Unfortunately, resource exploitation of various kinds has driven public lands management for many decades. Mining, logging, oil and gas drilling, and even farming have occurred and continue to occur on public lands. But the most widespread commercial use of western public lands is livestock production. Nearly all public lands that have any forage potential for livestock are leased for grazing.

    This includes 90 percent of BLM lands, 69 percent of USFS lands, and a surprising number of wildlife refuges and national parks. This land-your public land-is frequently managed as if it were a private feedlot rather than the common heritage of all Americans.

    Next time you go out to visit your public lands and encounter a fence you must cross, a gate you must open, a campground fouled with cow manure, a trout stream trampled by cows, a hay meadow rather than a natural wetland, weeds instead of native grasses, cattle and sheep instead of prairie dogs, remember, this is your land. Do you like what you see?


  7. This Land was Your Land

    When I called up retired BLM archaeologist Blaine Miller, who worked in the Price office as a specialist in Native American rock art, he told me that he had been punished for opposing energy development in the Price area. He had warned as early as 2002 about the probability of dust and vibration from oil and gas traffic ruining thousand-year-old petroglyphs in Nine Mile Canyon, a gorge near Price sometimes called the world’s longest art gallery. Miller told me that he had drafted “letters of consultation” to be added to the environmental assessments his bosses in Price required for the approval of energy leases in and around Nine Mile Canyon. “Those letters never left the office,” Miller says. “They were thrown away. My boss called me in and said he was told that the state office is going to lease these parcels no matter what, and you’re going to rewrite your analysis so they can do that. The environmental assessment had to reflect that decision. I told him I can’t do that and I won’t do that.” Miller claims his Utah BLM managers engaged in “criminal fraud” when they falsely signed his name to a report showing no effects from energy development on the archaeological finds in Nine Mile Canyon. He says he was subsequently removed from commenting on any development project in the area.
    Native vegetation had been decimated, birds and mammals chased away or killed off, streams and rivers polluted. Fish were dying, the air was full of poisons, and the once-clear skies of the region had been dimmed with smog. He claimed that mismanagement at the Vernal district over the past decade had resulted in the loss of a candidate species for the endangered list called the mountain plover, which nests in the short-grass prairie and high desert. “That was the state’s only population,” he told me. “Whose task is it to say that a species is not important? Which ones do you want to throw away? All species that are endemic are important. That’s part of the agency’s mission

    I talked with a half-dozen former bureau employees in Utah who told me their working environment was one of constant harassment and pressure from the legislature, county governments, and industry. One described BLM district managers—the BLM’s in-state bosses—as “totally compromised” by industry.
    “There is pressure to not regulate, to not do your job,” Dennis Willis, a retired BLM range conservationist and recreation manager who worked for the agency for 34 years, told me when I met him at his home in Price, a hundred miles west of the Book Cliffs-East Tavaputs. He wanted to show me the result of the lack of regulation on bureau land around Price. We drove in his truck out of town and up a winding road onto a sun-crushed expanse of pygmy pines and sagebrush scrub known as Wood Hill. We stopped at a well, one of dozens in a complex on BLM land leased to the Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, a $52 billion Texas-based energy company with operations on five continents. His long beard and hair whipping about in the desert wind, Willis brandished a Bic lighter and joked that I should spark the flint to see if the site was leaking natural gas. The explosion, he said, would send us and the wellhead to hell and back.

    “My big issue with oil and gas on public lands is that industry is like Vikings approaching a coastal village,” Willis said. “It’s rape and pillage.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is disgusting to read. It’s what we all knew as you can look at their history of decisions and see where their loyalty lies. It isn’t with the wild spaces and wildlife.


  8. I have to wonder how ranchers are shutting the water off to the burros. I know we’re dry. It hasn’t rained in 4 years. Everyone is suffering out here.

    I have easily 50 gallons extra each day that I could use and still be within my allotted amount. How do I get my water out to the burros? I don’t conserve so some rancher can abuse the system and request removals because he says so.

    Liked by 2 people

    • exactly Margaret. The ranchers take advantage of the land and the wildlife and then can’t share with the same. How can anyone be so cold hearted? They would do nothing to the ranchers for turning off the water but they would give fine you for bringing water to these dear burro. What the hell happened to this world?


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