Wild Burros

Marjorie Farabee and wild burro advocates fighting to save Black Mountain HMA wild burros, on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 3/2/16)



Join us on Wild Horse Wednesdays®, March 2, 2016

5:00 pm PST … 6:00 pm MST … 7:00 pm CST … 8:00 pm EST

Listen to the archived show (HERE!)

You can also listen to the show on your phone by calling (917) 388-4520.

You can call in with questions during the 2nd half hour, by dialing (917) 388-4520, then pressing 1.

This show will be archived so you can listen to it anytime.



Tonight’s show will be hosted by Marjorie Farabee, Dir. of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, Equine Mgr. of Todd Mission Ranch (TMR Rescue) & founder of Wild Burro Protection League.  Marjorie will be joined by local wild burro advocates, all of whom are fighting to save the wild burros of the Black Mountain Herd Management Area in Arizona.

Please join us in sending a message to Arizona to keep their hands off of our wild burros.  The mountain canary’s song is about to be silenced forever if we are not proactive in stopping these rogue agencies (BLM and Arizona Game & Fish Dept.) from gathering them all under the pretense of overpopulation.  There is not an overpopulation of burros, nor could the BLM prove it with their aerial count.  This emergency show has been set up so that people will learn about our burros and how to protect them.  There are strong voices of haters joining together to spell the end of this magnificent herd from Black Mountain HMA.  We cannot let this happen.

0Barbed wire trap set up for wild burros

To learn more, read “Arizona Burros in the Crosshairs” by Marjorie Farabee.

To contact us: ppj1@hush.com, or call 320-281-0585



1/20/16 – Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, on BLM’s plans to sterilize wild horse and burros.  Listen HERE.

1/27/16 – Marjorie Farabee, Dir. of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, on threats to shoot wild burros in Arizona.  Listen HERE.

2/8/16 – Representatives of 4 major wild horse & burro advocacy groups and advocates speak out against BLM’s plans for barbaric sterilization experiments on wild mares.  Listen HERE.

2/10/16 – Jonathan Ratner, Western Watersheds Project’s Director for Wyoming, Utah and Colorado, talks about the environmental toll of privately owned livestock grazing on public lands.  Listen HERE.

2/24/16 – Kirsten Stade, Advocacy Director for Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), on BLM’s skewed data minimizing the effects of livestock grazing on public lands.  Listen HERE.

22 replies »

  1. The echo chamber has been beating a frenetic rhythm in Arizona that does not bode well for this iconic herd. Best known for the town of Oatman, this one million acre HMA is under attack by local government. The Board of Supervisors of Bullhead City has declared war on our wild burros and has enlisted powerful allies against the benign and charismatic wild burro. Steve Moss, who sits on the BoS has even tried to legalize hunting burros and wanted to issue permits to hunters so that they could. He makes jokes about cutting off their heads and using them for barbeque, and cheerleader’s hunting them.

    Now, they have Senator John McCain and Senator Jeff Flake requesting that the BLM relinquish management of our Federally protected wild burros to Arizona Game and Fish. If this were allowed to happen, the Black Mountain burros would soon be annihilated.


  2. Counting Wild Burros
    Q: When does 175 – 80 = 635?
    A: When the BLM does the math!
    And they wonder why we don’t trust them.

    Wild Burro Gather Feb. 19, 2010
    Black Mountain Herd Management Area (HMA) in northwestern Arizona
    The BLM wild burro gather chart shows:
    Estimated pre-gather burro population as 175
    Number of burros gathered was 84
    Number of burros removed was 80
    Number of burros that died, non gather related was 2
    Estimated post-gather population was 635
    The BLM numbers are seriously flawed.
    See official BLM chart at the following link:

    Liked by 1 person


    “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”

    Critically Endangered

    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)

    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.

    (1) 66% reduction in wild populations was based on the 1971 census. Based on the 1974 census results, wild burro populations have been gutted by over 80%.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The SCIENCE

    Monday, 27 January, 2003

    Wild horse species ‘in peril’

    “Zebras, asses and horses can serve as ‘flagship’ species”

    “The arid homes of many equids are also home to human populations that face the same extreme environmental pressures. The benefit to wildlife of involving local pastoralists in conservation management is likely to be significant.”

    Dr Patricia Moehlman
    Chairwoman of the Species Survival Commission and Equid Specialist for the World Conservation Union

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Arizona Game & Fish does NOT have a good track record when it comes to protecting Arizona’s Wildlife.
    How could America’s few remaining Wild Burro possibly be protected by their agency?

    From PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility)
    For Immediate Release: Apr 29, 2008
    Agency Engages in “Biological McCarthyism” by Targeting Puma as Bighorn Gain
    Posted on Apr 29, 2008

    Yuma-The Arizona Game and Fish Department has been making misleading statements about the role pumas play in bighorn population levels and has had to issue one public correction. Other uncorrected misstatements raise doubts about whether the state game agency will honor a one-year moratorium against killing more panthers that it had agreed to just last week, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

    In a press release of April 18, 2008 announcing a year-long halt to further “lethal removal” of pumas (a.k.a. mountain lions, cougars or panthers), Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD) wrongly claimed that the bighorn population on Kofa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) continued to drop and that “lions were likely a significant cause of bighorn mortality.” In fact, the agency’s own surveys showed the bighorn population had grown by nearly 18% in 2007.

    On April 24th, AGFD issued a corrected press release blaming false statements on a “typographical error.” The corrected release still did not admit that the bighorn population had increased and it left unchanged questionable assertions about the significance of cougars in bighorn population fluctuations.

    “Arizona Game and Fish seems engaged in biological McCarthyism against the small at-risk remaining population of Kofa pumas,” stated Southwest PEER Director Daniel Patterson, noting that AGFD had recently killed two Kofa pumas. “Killing pumas for being wild in nature is misguided wildlife management.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Excerpts from Ron Kearns’ critique of state and federal mountain lion management
    To: Mr. Gary Hovatter, AGFD Yuma Region IV Information & Education Program Manager
    (I&E Manager Hovatter or Mr. Hovatter), et al.
    From: Ron Kearns, Retired Kofa NWR Wildlife Biologist, USFWS
    Date: Wednesday, October 17, 2007
    Subject: Reply to an e‐mail dated Monday, September 24, 2007

    A timeline of events follows that covers the period from the cougar’s capture/collaring, through his unjust death, then concludes with a concern raised in the Plan by a respected and acknowledged AGFD lion researcher. Most of the following information is the result of a public records request; an excellent
    and equitable procedure the Arizona State Legislature allows the public to gain information pursuant to the Arizona Public Records Act.

    February 28, 2007: The capture/collaring of the young tom lion (lion, KM01, collared cougar)

    April 17, 2007: Date on the final Investigative Report and Recommendations for the Kofa Bighorn Sheep Herd (Report) although not officially signed until Monday, June 4, 2007.

    April 20, 2007: (From Kofa/AGFD pers. comm) or (“April 17 or 18” from Contact Lion Trapper Mr. Ron Thompson’s field notes) First confirmed young ram bighorn killed by KM01 at a location “less than one mile from the Kofa NWR boundary, but definitely not within the KNWR boundary.

    The previous quote was from I&E Manager Hovatter’s e‐mail while Trapper Thompson’s field notes documented; “(Just off Refuge) About 1 mi.” From the general location given, this area is BLM land and it may be in that agency’s New Water Wilderness Area.
    I requested a GPS location for this kill site on Friday, September 28, because of the apparent location discrepancies and the false and/or misleading statement by AGFD Yuma Region IV Supervisor Mr.LARRY VOYLES (SUPERVISOR VOYLES)
    in a newspaper article that this was a Kofa bighorn. On June 13, another person requested this and other bighorn kill locations, but the information remains unprovided, and I am still requesting the location almost 3.75 months later.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Two years later….

    Need For and Effects of Wiping Out Desert-Adapted Cougars Not Understood
    Posted on Oct 06, 2009

    Yuma -Federal and state agencies are on the verge of biological malpractice in their plans to continue “lethal removals” of a small, shrinking cougar population based in Arizona’s Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, according to comments filed by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). A pending U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service plan would allow state game agents to shoot radio-collared mountain lions on the Kofa refuge itself in order to limit predation on prized bighorn sheep.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Senators McCAIN and FLAKE

    Selling Off Apache Holy Land

    Despite these protections, in December 2014, Congress promised to hand the title for Oak Flat over to a private, Australian-British mining concern. A fine-print rider trading away the Indian holy land was added at the last minute to the must-pass military spending bill, the National Defense Authorization Act. By doing this, Congress has handed over a sacred Native American site to a foreign-owned company for what may be the first time in our nation’s history.

    The land grab was sneakily anti-democratic even by congressional standards. For more than a decade, the parcel containing Oak Flat has been coveted by Rio Tinto, Resolution’s parent company – which already mines on its own private land in the surrounding area -for the high-value ores beneath it.

    This time, the giveaway language was slipped onto the defense bill by Senators JOHN McCAIN and JEFF FLAKE
    of Arizona at the 11th hour. The tactic was successful only because, like most last-minute riders, it bypassed public scrutiny.

    The truth is that for Mr. McCAIN, Mr.FLAKE
    and others who would allow this precious public land to be destroyed, it’s not only the Indians who are invisible. The rest of us are also ghosts, remnants of a quaint idea of democracy.

    Liked by 1 person


    Wild Sheep Foundation Announces Record Attendance, Highest Bid Ever for Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Tag at Largest U.S. Conservation and Mountain Hunting Convention

    Non-profit foundation raises more than $6.5 million, including record $380,000 for AZ sheep tag

    “We are extremely excited to see our tag sell so well and thankful for the bidders and their interest in Arizona desert bighorn sheep,” said Amber Munig, Big Game Management Supervisor of the Game Branch Arizona Game & Fish Department.https://www.azgfd.com. “The $380,000 is an all-time record for this tag.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Barbara Warner
    March 2, 2016 @ 4:36 PM Edit

    URGENT: PLEASE NOTE: ‘Wild horses will be transferred to states, etc. and lose what little protections they have. IMO BLM budget needs great reduced and wild horss taken out of holding and returned to their lawful HMA’s.
    >>>>phone numbers in parentheses , <<<<

    There is a hearing this Thursday, March 3rd in the House Appropriations on the
    Thursday, March 3:

    House Appropriations Interior-Environment Subcommittee hearing on Bureau of Land Management budget, 10 a.m., Rayburn B-308

    These are the members of that committee, I suggest you make phone calls to them and voice your concerns. I will try and get a list of fax and phone numbers soon.

    Ken Calvert, California, Chairman( 202 225 1986 )
    Mike Simpson, Idaho, Vice Chair(208 600 2516)
    Tom Cole, Oklahoma(202 225 6165)
    David Joyce, Ohio(202 225 5731)
    Chris Stewart, Utah(202 225 9730)
    Mark Amodei, Nevada(((202 225 6155 ))))
    Evan Jenkins, West Virginia(202 225 3452)
    Betty McCollum, Minnesota, Ranking Member (202 225 6631)
    Chellie Pingree, Maine(207 774 5019)
    Derek Kilmer, Washington(202 225 5916)
    Steve Israel, New York(202 225 3335)


  11. Hi – Thanks for a terrific discussion tonight. I love what you’re going to bring awareness to this issue and to this very important HMA herd. A few questions: — I waited on the line for 1 1/4 hour, but didn’t get through. Did you have have a huge line of callers? Or did I have to do something other than call the number you listed?

    — I wanted to ask Karen Sussman about the AU’s she referenced. Does BLM count them the same for burros and wild horses as for cattle? If so, this is another weak point for BLM. I’ve done research on this issue, and there’s land agency precedent for counting differently for WB’s. I’d be grateful if you put me in touch with Karen to pursue this issue.

    — In the last 1/4 hour, Karen mentioned that BLM is one of the largest agencies with the smallest budgets. Are local groups like Save Our Arizona Heritage Burros willing to form coalitions to help man a local monitoring system like the team effort in 1990-95? To my knowledge, the key to the handful of HMA’s that have avoided helicopter roundups is grassroots involvement: teaming up with BLM to help inventory the herds, monitor the range and, where appropriately indicated, darting for PZP birth control, etc. Can this be done in the Black Mtn. herd area? A legal challenge arbitrary removals is an option, but I agree with Karen it should be one done only if a win can be assured.

    — I would have liked to hear mention of the steps counties like Mojave could and should be taking to reduce accidents from burros crossing the highway to get to the river: reducing the speed limit from 55 to 40, setting up water tanks until underpasses could be built, different lighting options, etc. They may not want to do this, but some solutions hardly cost anything. And if people keep reminding them the burros are a heritage species to be protected, it’ll be harder for them to keep trying to dump the “problem” on BLM or Fish & Game.

    — Please let me know who the last caller was, or share my email with her. She made excellent points about mobilizing local opinion to change the model of conservation management. Beyond harping on what’s wrong, and urging more research, we need to be constantly developing ways to increase our voices and get this information across to the public — especially in a key election year. In the spirit, Charlotte charlotteeroe@yahoo.com



    • Good questions, Charlotte. I hope others will respond to you but here is a little bit of information. Having been involved with private independent aerial wild horse and burro census research, I can tell you that there is NO reason that the BLM or NPS or USFS cannot use video (Go-Pro cameras) to verify their bogus aerial population counts. So, why don’t they? Because video documentation would prove their supposed census counts are fraudulent. More information (read the entire report):
      “BLM Photo Documents 72 Wild Burros But Submits Written Report of 1,378?”


    • Charlotte, there is an article from May 2015 that you can read. It might help answer some of your questions.

      11th Hour for Arizona’s Wild Burros

      OpEd by Marjorie Farabee ~Director of Wild Burro Affairs at Wild Horse Freedom Federation

      “Another issue brought up was the burros crossing 95 in Bullhead City.
      The area where they are crossing is still legally a part of the Black Mountain HA and provides direct access to the Colorado River which is an important water source for the burros and all other wildlife in the area. (That 10-mile strip is STILL legally designated (by 1971 Congress) for wild horses and burro. It is still HA (Herd Area) land. “Wild horses and burros are supposed to be treated as “components of the public lands”. 16 U.S.C. § 1333(a) The law is clear that “wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death” and entitled to roam free on public lands where they were living at the time the Act was passed in 1971. 16 U.S.C. § 1331 These legally protected areas are known as “herd areas,” and are defined as “the geographic area identified as having been used by a herd as its habitat in 1971.” 43 C.F.R. § 4700.0-5(d).” – Animal Law Coalition (available online) Rather than provide passage over or under the HWY they have decided to zero out the burros in the area. These provisions could have been made when the roadways were under construction.”


    • Hi Charlotte,
      I am so sorry for responding so late. I stay busy with my work at our rescue plus my work with the wild burros. Charlotte to ask a question, you need to call the number and then press 1, this is what puts you into the line for questions. No, AU’s are not counted in the same way for burros as for cattle.

      We have provided Mohave County with a list of ways to stop the burros from crossing the roads, and they insist they will do none of it. Quite simply, they want the burros gone. There is an agenda for removing them, and the accidents are an excuse to do so. Whether it is the AZ Bighorn Sheep Society, the mining industry, the recreational vehicle clubs, ranching interests or some other reason, they are intent on removing burros. I have my my money on the big game component.

      Today, they are meeting in washington to vote on a resolution to put the management of the burros into the hands of AZ Game and Fish. If this is allowed to happen, our burros will be gone in a few years.

      I appreciate your interest in this. We have quite a lot of information on our Wild Burro Protection League page. https://www.facebook.com/Wild.Burro.Protection.League/?ref=hl You will find a petition there that needs to be signed. It was just released yesterday. There is also information on the page for who to call in Washington to voice your concerns about removing burros from the care of the BLM. Despite how horribly they have done their jobs, they are not allowed to shoot the burros. AZ G and F will not hesitate to shoot them.

      The numbers they are discussing are absolutely without merit. They did an aerial count that was just a few hundred burros, 72 were documented on film. The count they handed in was a little over 1300. They lie about the numbers. I am adamantly against the use of PZP on the burros. I live near Texas A&M and have had numerous discussions with Dr. Gus Cothran about the burros. He said, genetically, the burros are in real trouble. PZP has never been tested on burros, and the horses who have been dosed are now either infertile or having babies with birth defects.

      You can find Karen Sussman through her site: http://www.ispmb.org/ She has a great deal of information that we can use. Our problem at this time, is the speed with which they are moving to put the burros into the hands of AZ G and F. We have not been given time to mount a defense for them. I agree that local involvement is the only way any herd can be saved. I did this for the Big Bend Ranch burros. We had townhalls and informed the locals. They were able to meet fellow citizens who wanted to save the burros. This gave them the understanding that they were not alone. We need the same in AZ. Steve Moss is whipping hunters in the area into a frenzy. It won’t be long before they go out and start shooting. The group is newly formed, so no town hall has been arranged. Hopefully, they will soon. I have not had a leader step up yet.

      Kind regards,
      Marjorie Farabee


  12. Death rate of captured burros.
    The 2010 Twin Peaks roundup statistics via FOIA data:

    9% (rounded) of the burros captured by BLM’s contractor Cattoor were dead within ten months of being captured.

    9 died from respiratory-pneumonia
    3 died from foaling complications including one jenny who died while foaling only four days after being captured
    1 jack died due to gelding complications (he was two years old)
    1 jenny died (that they admitted to) the same day she was captured – their reason states “other”

    162 burros were captured but only 158 even lived long enough to be counted at the BLM holding facility.


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