BLM to round up wild burros from Bullfrog HMA

When bait trapping is done, there is almost NO PUBLIC, INDEPENDENT ACCOUNTABILITY.   –  Debbie



The BLM says gather is needed to remove excess burros to help decrease or eliminate public safety concerns for the citizens of Beatty and travelers along the Highway 95 corridor, among other reasons.  (Photo: iStock)

BLM to Gather Wild Burros from Bullfrog HMA

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is scheduled to begin gathering and removing approximately 40 wild burros from the Bullfrog herd management area (HMA), located near Beatty, Nevada, on Sept. 1. The gather will be conducted through a bait-trap and is expected to continue for about three weeks.

The BLM estimates there are approximately 243 wild burros within the HMA, and the post-gather population would be estimated at approximately 203 wild burros. The appropriate management level for the Bullfrog HMA is 58 to 91 wild burros.

The BLM says gather is needed to remove excess burros to help prevent deterioration of the range, achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance, achieve and maintain healthy and viable wild burro populations, protect habitat for threatened desert tortoise and sensitive Amargosa toad, and decrease or eliminate public safety concerns for the citizens of Beatty and travelers along the Highway 95 corridor.

The Battle Mountain District’s Tonopah Field Office issued the decision record for the environmental assessment for the Bullfrog HMA gather plan in 2012. The environmental assessment and associated decision specifically allotted for follow-up bait and water trap gathers of the Bullfrog HMA to attain appropriate management level. The environmental assessment, decision record, associated documents, maps, and other information about the Bullfrog HMA is posted on the BLM Battle Mountain website at

The BLM contractor will gather the wild burros utilizing a bait-trapping method and transport the animals to the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Off-Range Corral in Axtell, Utah. The BLM will provide updates and information on a bi-weekly basis throughout the course of the gather at

For more information, please call David Price, wild horse and burro specialist at the Tonopah Field Office, at 775/482-7800.


  1. This is not exactly a bustling corridor is it? Why cant they post signs telling people to slow down, its a burro area? Why cant we have a culture of live and let live?


  2. I was thinking that this photo dispels all of their reasons for a roundup…especially since there hasn’t been a good aerial count done in quite a while..they have StrieterLites I think they are called, that are specifically made for animals crossing highways…and isn’t it strange how the tortoise and the toad managed all these years with supposedly more animals around them, to do just fine…is there anything we can do to stop this? Once they are in the off range coral, then what? So hard to trust people who lie all the time…


  3. Burros and Bio-Diversity: The Rest of the Story

    Burro eradicators say that although ancestors of equines once roamed North America, they became extinct in the Pleistocene Period, roughly 10,000-12,000 years ago. They acknowledge that Europeans reintroduced horses and burros 500 years ago. However, they continue, modern day horses and burros that were introduced to North America are non-native.
    Circle Ranch Horse Tooth

    This native horse molar was found in an archaeological dig at the Circle Ranch Indian Cave in June 2011. It is over 10,000-years old.

    Where is the science, as opposed to personal opinion or preference, for a single one one of these definitions and/or choices?

    There is no objective physiologic, historic or genetic definition being used: These practices and definitions are a mishmash of inconsistencies and contradictions. What is being done depends largely on what some person or group prefers. Often these preferences, and the practices to which they lead, reflect the internal agendas of competing range and wildlife bureaucracies.

    This is the case with burro eradications.

    Somewhere along the line wildlife managers flipped to hostility to non-native animals. Out of this has grown the war on exotics which now extends to many natives: It has morphed into an attack on bio-diversity.

    Let us heed Aldo Leopold’s warning: “To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.” The eliminations of quasi-natives like burros and cows, and true natives like elk and others reduce biodiversity. This harms the land and its wild animals.

    If the conventional approaches recommended by most “experts” were restoring deserts and increasing native wildlife this conversation would not be necessary: Everyone would be for these practices too. But they are not working.


    • Louie, I have personally been to Circle ranch and have seen what managing the land for the lands sake means. Christopher is Texan where there are no BLM lands. He does provide grazing permits for cattle at $20. a cow calf pair (big difference from $1.36) He treats the cattle like the bison herd’s of old and makes them move from one one mile section to the next in a few days. He does not kill predators and all wildlife is welcome. He has pronghorn, bighorn, Llama’s, horses and burros. He has prairie dogs, eagles, hawks, cougar and hosts of other wildlife. He allows the cattle to graze through a season and they are removed. It works. His 32,000 acre ranch borders Diablo Wildlife Management area managed by Texas Parks and Wildlife department. They destocked the land completely during the drought a few years ago. Now, following the property line with a drone reveals the ugly truth of their mismanagement. Christopher’s property is teaming with life and plant growth while Diablo has not come back. Destocking killed the microbes in the soil and accelerated desertification. The only animal Christopher removed during the drought were the cattle. He did not offer grazing permits during those years and his land has thrived. The land needs diverse animal impact to be holistically managed.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Certainly does show what is possible, doesn’t it? How sad is it that if there truly was multiple use of ALL grazers & wildlife, no tolerance for ranchers overstocking & overgrazing, that there wouldn’t need to be this constant battle? But it seems there is this mindset that the ranchers, mining etc., have to use it all before its gone! No concept or thought of future generations or even other land users. I guess Selfish & Greedy are the words I’m looking for, right?
        Debbie – unable to pull up the article on Mercuria & Paquita posted on SFHH! I tend to go back & read comments after the fact & cant get that one to come up.


      • Maggie, since the deadline for the letters has been reached, Rachel Reeves asked us to remove the article so that Bridgette won’t continue to receive emails and letters.
        Good job, everyone! Thanks to everyone who wrote a letter! Debbie


      • This is amazing Marjorie! Thank you for sharing. I recently read an article about some Montanan ranchers that are going back to the “old ways”. They are using “cowboys”, actually they are all WOMEN to watch over cattle herds 24/7. They say that natural predators are not coming around the herds. They are doing this to help protect predators from being eradicated by USFS’ Wild Services division. They are embracing productive land management. Also having these women riding along side of the cattle 24/7 assists with the well being of the cattle.


  4. Everytime I go on the computer “I get sick”. Personally, I don’t care what people do to people but I do care what the BLM, USFWS, etc. are doing to our wildife and we can’t do a thing about it. When they ask for comments on issues, I’m sure everything goes in the waste basket and/or gets deleted immediately. Honestly, I’m too old for this s _ _ t.



    The BLM has made many decisions over the past three decades that are highly questionable given the statutory framework. Perhaps one of the most drastic is its seriatim “zeroing out” of herd areas in which the BLM eliminates all horses from an area.[38] The agency purports to do that pursuant to its broad management authority, but “zeroing out” is in direct conflict with its mandate. The BLM is required to consider the horses in their herd areas “as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.”[39] By removing all of the horses from the herd area the agency is categorically in conflict with this mandate. No agency interpretation of this plain language can justify how “considering” horses in a herd area can mean eliminating them. If horses are presumptively important (“integral”) to the land, clearly the intention of the agency itself was to keep at least some of them on the land. Sometimes, zeroing out is the last step in what looks like a planned extirpation of horses in a Herd Area. The BLM often reasons that total elimination of horses in a Herd Area is necessary where there are not enough horses in the area to maintain a healthy gene pool. There may have at one point been an adequate amount of horses in the Herd Area, but serial roundups by the BLM have reduced the population size.

    Thus, the BLM can be the cause of the genetic deterioration which it later uses to justify capturing all the horses in that area.

    In addition to the rationale for roundups, the methods and manner in which they are conducted also concern the general public. BLM’s own regulations state that the BLM must provide wild horses and burros with “humane care and treatment.” The regulations further define “humane treatment” as “handling compatible with animal husbandry practices accepted in the veterinary community, without causing unnecessary stress or suffering to a wild horse or burro.” But BLM practices are seemingly inconsistent with these requirements. The images of helicopters chasing horses across miles of rough terrain leave many viewers with the sense that “unnecessary stress and suffering” is an inevitable result of the process. In fact, some small percentage of horses die as a result of the roundups. For those animals that survive, the health impacts of the roundups are well documented. Even worse, once the horses are moved into captivity, they suffer a new set of psychological and physiological changes, including confused social status, separation from lifelong herd mates, wasting away of muscle tissues, insulin resistance, and obesity. Although there has never been a successful challenge to the BLM’s capture methods, given the litany of negative consequences, it is difficult to see how the practices satisfy the regulatory requirement of humane treatment.


  6. “While studies on wild asses stated their reproduction rate was ONLY 4% IN GOOD YEARS”

    Critically Endangered (excerpts)

    While the BLM has been “managing” wild burro herds for over three decades, almost no studies have been compiled on wild burros in general or of their individual herds- they are just “lumped in” with wild horses on every level.

    What limited historical data and studies has been done regarding wild burros has primarily been compiled by those interested in promoting big game species such as bighorn sheep who flourish in similar habitats as our own wild asses.

    Needless to say, these “authoritative opinions” always finds wild burros a great threat to any species and habitat; no matter how many centuries wild burro herds have been documented in the area, totally naturalized and co-existing in harmony within those ecosystems.

    In July 2000, Patricia Moehlman, Chairwoman of the Species Survival Commission and Equid Specialist for the World Conservation Union appealed to BLM to initiate more studies of our American wild asses in efforts to obtain relevant information for critically endangered asses throughout the world.

    However, the BLM had just released their “Strategy to Achieve and Manage Wild Burros at Appropriate Management Levels” in June of 2000, which authorized wild burro populations to be slashed nationally by at least 66%, despite their “federally protected status” – Dr. Moehlmans appeal for help was ignored. (1)

    In July 2000, Patricia Moehlman, Chairwoman of the Species Survival Commission and Equid Specialist for the World Conservation Union appealed to BLM to initiate more studies of our American wild asses in efforts to obtain relevant information for critically endangered asses throughout the world.

    However, the BLM had just released their “Strategy to Achieve and Manage Wild Burros at Appropriate Management Levels” in June of 2000, which authorized wild burro populations to be slashed nationally by at least 66%, despite their “federally protected status” -Dr. Moehlmans appeal for help was ignored. (1)

    While studies on wild asses stated their reproduction rate was only 4% in good years, the BLM has applied their “wild horse reproduction rate” of 20% per year (also in serious question) to wild burros as well.


  7. Give me and the BURROS a break! If there is a problem with the traffic then take down the fences that are put up for the private domestic livestock pastures within the HMA and put that fencing along the main road to protect both the public and the burros and get the livestock off the HMA.

    I don’t imagine that anyone reading this (including BLM) doesn’t already know that BLM has and continues to lie about the populations and population increases of our wild horses and burros … but this one takes the cake!

    Per BLM the Bullfrog Burro HMA population jumped from 88 burros up to 204 IN ONE YEAR!!! Oh those burros must have been really partying like crazy but I bet that those Jack (male) burros giving birth would have been something to watch!

    Per the BLM published herd stats:
    Year Burro Est. Pop. Difference % of Change Misc.
    2005 41 N/A
    2006 14 -27 -66% Unknown if gathered?
    2007 32 18 129%
    2008 75 43 134%
    2009 101 26 35%
    2010 120 19 19%
    2011 124 4 3%
    2012 118 -6 -5%
    2013 76 -42 -36% 77 burros removed in 2012
    2014 88 12 16% herd was WITHIN AML!
    2015 204 116 132%

    Yep, per BLM the Bullfrog wild burros INCREASED 132% since last year! WOW!

    And yet recent independent research showed that the average annual burro herd increases less than 5%. Since burros rarely have twins and their gestation period is about 11 months and about half the herd would be male, there is NO WAY the herd could increase 132% in one year. Impossible. If that had even a speck of truth to it then biologists from around the world would be jumping up and down to find out why. Again, BLM has proven they are lying to the public.

    By the way, in 2005 the Bullfrog AML was 185 and then in 2007 it was reduced (why?!) to only 91 burros – adding to our list of non-viable herds.

    And did I mention that if they would remove the private/corporate domestic welfare cattle off the Bullfrog HMA there would be forage for ANOTHER ~100 burros on their legally designated land – not to mention that if the burros were given their rightful forage they would not have a reason to stray off the HMA to start with.

    And no public observation? I guess that means they (like many) will disappear before they even get to the BLM holding facility? Who is the capture contractor?

    And one more thing … at least six of our wild burros from the Bullfrog HMA were on the internet adoption last year and NOT ONE even got a single bid. In my opinion, BLM’s WH&B program and all their employees from the big-wigs to the office workers and wranglers needs a complete absolute FBI investigation. I am SO SICK of BLM and the USFS persecuting, harassing, maltreating and discriminating against the wild horses and burros on their congressionally designated land and ignoring the American citizens and bullying both the public and the wild animals.


    • You are amazing GG! Great information and insight. Your wealth of knowledge for so many years is Priceless! I think burros are the cutest little guys. They seem to be such social creatures. The one that made it out of a wildfire & followed the fire fighters everywhere is so precious. The Lord saved him for a reason! He needs to be the “new poster child” for burros! The BLM is out of control. Just plain out-of-control.


  8. Yes thankyou Grandma Gregg. You are so incredible with your insight and knowledge. We need a complete investigation of years the BLM has miss managed our Wild Horse herds. It is so terrible what has been done to traumatize our viable herds. Tear families apart, no caring in the total process.

    My heart breaks now for our burros, why? They just can’t stop this brutality. Could it be we are running out of water and drought areas? However we can drill wells? Oh you think the government can do that instead of removing so many wild horses and burros? They can and DON!T.

    Stop putting cattle where the horses are. I just don’t get it. We are not stupid people. We are well educated and we think things through. TAKE THE FENCES DOWN AND MOVE THEM ALONG THE HIGHWAY, SMART IDEA YOU THINK? YES



  9. Is this the same BLM that evidently killed off Desert Tortoises elsewhere in Nevada due to lack of funds to care for them?

    “Federal funds are running out at the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center and officials plan to close the site and euthanize hundreds of the tortoises they’ve been caring for since the animals were added to the endangered species list in 1990.”


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