Wild Burros

Craig C. Downer (Wildlife Ecologist), Jesica Johnston (Environmental Scientist) & Marybeth Devlin (researcher) on the plight of America’s wild horses & burros (Wed., 6/20/18 on Wild Horse & Burro Radio)


Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us for Wild Horse Wednesdays®, Wednesday, June 20, 2018

6:00 p.m. PST … 7:00 p.m. MST … 8:00 p.m. CST … 9:00 p.m. EST

Listen to the archived show (HERE!)

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

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

Wild horses in Twin Peaks Herd Management Area in 2014

Our guests tonight will be Craig C. Downer (Wildlife Ecologist), Jesica Johnston (Environmental Scientist), and Marybeth Devlin (Researcher and wild horse & burro advocate).

We’ll be talking about many aspects of the plight of America’s wild horses and burros.  We’ll cover the big picture of wild horse & burro populations and general conservation issues.  We’ll also give details about specific issues – like what Craig and Jesica discovered while monitoring the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area in northern California and the Nevada border (both in aerial flights and in the field).

Craig’s website is wildhorseconspiracy.org

This show will be hosted by Debbie Coffey (V.P. and Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs) of Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

To contact us: ppj1@hush.com


To find out more about Wild Horse Freedom Federation and our work to keep wild horses and burros wild and free on our public lands visit www.WildHorseFreedomFederation.org

Donate Here: http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/donate/


1/17/18 – Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, on BLM denying her access to photograph wild horses at Axtell (Utah) and Bruneau (Idaho) off range corrals (where the public is not allowed to see them) to help facilitate adoptions.  Listen HERE.

1/19/18 – Erik Molvar, Executive Director of Western Watersheds Project.  Erik is a contributor to The Hill and his blog posts can be found here.    Listen HERE.

2/21/18 – Ann Marini, Ph.D., M.D., and John Holland of Equine Welfare Alliance on veterinary drugs banned in animals used for human consumption that the BLM gives to wild horses & burros.  Listen HERE.

3/14/18 – Jonathan Thompson, a Contributing Editor at High Country News and the author of River of Lost Souls: The Science, Politics and Greed Behind the Gold King Mine Disaster, on the 2015 Gold King Mine disaster, and other environmental disasters.  Listen HERE.

3/21/18 – Kirsten Stade, Advocacy Director for Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).  Listen HERE.

3/28/18 – Stephany Seay, Media Coordinator for the Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC), working to stop the harassment and slaughter of America’s last wild buffalo. Listen HERE.

5/9/18 – Susan Wagner, President & Founder of Equine Advocates and Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation on the BLM’s new plan for “managing” America’s wild horses & burros, that is a blueprint to kill, to sterilize and to ship wild horses & burros overseas, where the BLM has no jurisdiction.  Listen HERE.

6/13/18 – John Horning, Exec. Dir. of WildEarth Guardians.  WildEarth Guardians protects the American West, and its programs focus on wildlife, wild places, wild rivers, and climate and energy.  Listen HERE.

13 replies »

  1. Can hardly wait to hear this broadcast. Go get ’em, and tell it like it really is. So many lies and smoke and mirrors misinformation out there! Love you all for what you do to help!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. BEFORE the 2010 Twin Peaks roundup

    The BLM’s Snow Job About Water on the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area (excerpts)
    By Debbie Coffey
    June 24, 2010

    the Jaksick family is attempting to control the water in the Smoke Creek Desert north of Reno, and use pipelines to bring that water south to the Winnemucca Ranch development…The plan is to share some of the 14,000 square feet of water rights with Washow County, and the county then piping their share into the Truckee Meadows for distribution through the quasi governmental agency, Truckee Meadows Water Authority” (TMWA)

    “95% of circulation water is underground. You can’t see it, but it’s there.” – geologist Graham Fogg
    When we were on the June 14, 2010 public tour of the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area (HMA), the BLM said the BIG REASON they had to round-up our wild horses was because there WASN’T ENOUGH WATER. They took us by a spring east of Observation Peak, which was fenced off because it was on PRIVATE PROPERTY. The BLM said this spring fed Smoke Creek, which went south of the area. Aside from the actual spring itself, most of the creek/water runs south on public lands through the Twin Peaks Wilderness Study Area to the Smoke Creek Resevoir. The BLM took us to a cow-poop laden riparian area, showed us what looked like a puddle of water and talked more about how there was hardly any water and how all the creeks dry up in the summer.

    When we asked who owned the spring/water at Smoke Creek, the BLM officials coughed up the last name of Jaksick, but none of them seemed to know Jaksick’s first name. That’s funny, because in 2008, the Eagle Lake Field Office was involved in a $6 million deal/partnership with Sam Jaksick.
    An article by the Land Trust Alliance stated “BLM and the Nevada Land Conservancy have been working with landowners since 2003 for federal acquisition of the land in order to protect a wide variety of resources on the property. This is the largest and most complex SNPLMA (Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act) acquisition done to date, with more than a hundred distinct parcels with appurtenant water rights across three BLM administrative areas – the Winnemucca field office in Nevada, and the Surprise and Eagle Lake Field offices in California. The parcels, all within Nevada, are scattered throughout the Granite Range north of Gerlach, and include portions of Buffalo Hills, Twin Peaks, and Poodle Mountain Wilderness Study areas, and range from high alpine meadows to sagebrush lowlands.”

    Bob Fulkerson of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada added:
    “…developer Sam Jaksick is one of the largest landowners in Modoc County and is in the process of developing a 12,000 home project west of Pyramid Lake in Washoe County, Nevada, called Winnemucca Ranch – a 6,000-acre spread just 30 miles north of the bustling city of Reno. The project…would require Reno to annex the area and likely pump water from Surprise Valley and other areas…He said developer Jaksick is buying up land in Modoc and in other places around California and Nevada…Jacksick’s latest project…is an egregious example of development planning – and greed – gone mad.”


    Liked by 1 person

  3. A Stochastic Approach to a Groundwater Flow Model of Southern Honey Lake
    Valley in Lassen County, CA and Washoe County, NV

    Honey Lake Valley, located in Lassen County, California and Washoe County,
    Nevada, has been an area of interest for groundwater development for several years. In
    early 2008 Washoe County purchased the groundwater rights in the vicinity of Fish
    Springs Ranch (FSR), southeastern Honey Lake Valley. These newly acquired water
    rights are intended to supply an estimated 27,035 m³/d (8,000 ac-ft/yr) to the growing
    area of Lemmon Valley, north of Reno, and constitute the first interbasin groundwater
    transfer in Nevada.

    Click to access HUMPHREY-THESIS.pdf

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Craig Downer


    Our National Treasure

    While you’re not looking, the United States Forest Service (USFS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are systematically eradicating America’s wild horses and burros from our public lands. And these agencies are doing this at breakneck speed! Witness the number and frequency of the roundups being conducted in public lands spanning millions and millions of acres in 10 Western states.


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Marybeth Devlin

    National Parks Conservation Association

    The Burro Quandary

    Reader Comment
    Marybeth Devlin

    1. Burros are slow to reproduce. Gestation lasts an average of 12 months but can extend as long as 14 months. A jenny gives birth to just 1 foal, typically in alternate years.

    2. The wild burro birth rate averages 14%; but Gregg et al. (2014) found that 50% of foals perish before their first birthday. Thus, the effective increase in new burro-foals is just 7%. Moreover, at least 5% of wild burros other-than-foals also die every year. Their death-rate (5%) further reduces the increase from foals (7%), yielding a net herd-growth rate of 2%. Consequently, it would take 35 years for a burro-herd to double.

    3. BLM manages the burro herds below minimum-viable population (MVP). As an example of one of these arbitrary management levels (AMLs), BLM restricts the Black Mountain (AZ) herd’s stocking-density to 1 burro per 4 square miles. At 2 burros per 4 square miles, BLM calls them “overpopulated.”

    4. The Black Mountain burros are, in fact, underpopulated. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization, recommends a minimum herd-size of 2,500. The Black Mountain herd is way below MVP.

    5. In the last 3 years, BLM has alleged the following herd-growth rates for the Black Mountain burros: 25% (more than 12 times the norm), 45% (more than 22 times the norm), and 7% (more than 3 times the norm). Such growth is biologically impossible. Please note that the preposterous growth-rate errors compound, as each successive year is calculated based on those that preceded it. Because BLM is publishing false information, there would appear to be a violation of Section 1001 of Title 18, United States Code, which prohibits making false or fraudulent statements knowingly and willfully.

    6. BLM is also bound by another law — the Data Quality Act — and by policy — the Department of the Interior’s Code of Scientific and Scholarly Conduct — to disseminate information obtained through “as rigorous scientific and scholarly processes as can be achieved.” However, BLM’s data with regard to wild burros is deceitful. The “overpopulation” exists only on BLM’s falsified spreadsheets.

    7. BLM staffers cannot claim ignorance. They are college-educated professionals with degrees in science and range management. They are well-aware that wild-burro herds cannot increase at such high rates. Yet, even after the fraudulent growth-estimates are brought to their attention, they willfully continue to cite them, causing elected officials to become needlessly alarmed. Why the falsification? Apparently, to prompt Congress to increase the Agency’s budget. At first, BLM said it needed $1 billion. A few weeks later, the figure morphed into $2.3 billion. Almost immediately, that amount doubled to $4.6 billion. Even the Advisory Board members admitted that their recommendation of euthanasia was meant to secure more funding for BLM.

    8. Burros help other wildlife. As the article admitted, burros dig little wells that provide drinking sources for other species besides themselves. Further, their droppings enrich the soil and reseed it via the burros’ post-gastric digestive system.

    9. Burros do not bother bighorn. Wehausen (1998) concluded that “a negative influence of burros on bighorn sheep demography has not been shown as support for true competition.” Arizona’s current estimated population of bighorn is 6,000.

    10. Burros do not disadvantage mule deer. According to the Arizona Game & Fish Department, “Mule deer are the most abundant big-game animal in Arizona, with the statewide population estimated at 120,000 post-hunt adults.”

    11. PZP — the sterilant being used on the burros — is a pesticide that was registered in the absence of standard testing requirements, per reliance on what now appear to have been misrepresentations by the manufacturer. There is currently a lawsuit challenging the legitimacy of the registration, especially in light of new studies that have disclosed PZP’s many adverse side-effects.

    12. PZP causes disease — auto-immune disease. PZP tricks the immune system into producing antibodies that destroy the ovaries. The antibodies induce ovarian dystrophy, autoimmune oophoritis, ovarian cysts, destruction of oocytes, and premature ovarian failure. PZP quickly sterilizes jennies that have a strong immune system but has no effect on those suffering from weak immunity. Thus, over time, PZP selects for low immune function. Worse yet, research showed that PZP antibodies are transferred from mother to female offspring via the placenta and milk. Stillbirths are also associated with PZP use, meaning that some of its effects are actually feticidal.

    13. PZP is a powerful endocrine-disruptor. The EPA Pesticide Fact Sheet warns women that accidental self-injection with PZP may cause infertility. Unfortunately, because the manufacturer misrepresented PZP as “so safe it is boring,” volunteer-darters have become lax in following safety-precautions.

    14. PZP is a potent weapon in BLM’s arsenal — for its biological warfare against the wild burros. But sterilization of wild burros is unnecessary because there is no overpopulation. Why would we sterilize herds whose numbers are inadequate for genetic viability? Why would we sterilize herds based on falsified figures? Why would we exterminate a species that enhances biodiversity and benefits the ecosystem? Logically we wouldn’t and ethically we shouldn’t.

    15. Nature provides the right way to right-size a herd: predators. Burros do have natural predators, among them mountain lions, bears, wolves, and coyotes. Because Federal agencies claim that inadequate numbers of predators prevent them from fulfilling their population-control function, then the predators should be protected from trophy-hunters and from eradication by Wildlife Services.

    16. BLM can provide more room for the burros by restoring the 22 million acres of wild-horse-and-burro habitat that it took away from them for political expediency. Cost: $0.

    17. Livestock, lagomorphs, and locusts are the primary perpetrators of range-destruction.

    18. Livestock-grazing is out of control Out West. Permittees defy BLM’s authority to rest the range. Instead of penalizing the scofflaw ranchers, BLM lets the illegal grazing continue.

    19. Lagomorphs (jackrabbits) were recently found to be consuming more than 34% of the forage in a particular area of Utah — much more than a local bison herd, which had been assumed to be to blame. Meanwhile, locusts (grasshoppers and crickets) are frequently the dominant rangeland herbivores, devouring 20-to-25% of range-vegetation valued at an estimated $1.25 billion every year. Locusts currently infest huge areas of the West.

    20. Because water is scarce in Western states, BLM should stop issuing permits for mines, which use billions of gallons of water annually, thereby lowering the water-table and drying up seeps and springs.


    Liked by 1 person

  6. And even lower for Wild Burros…”4% in good years”



    December 4, 2007

    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.

    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)

    The first census done by BLM in 1971 reported approximately 8,045 wild burros on public lands. This census was done by driving around in vehicles and counting burros when they saw them. In 1974, the first census was done using aircraft; BLM reported a wild burro population estimated at 14,374.

    In February 2007, BLM estimated the remaining national burro population was merely 2,874 burros with 369 more wild burros removed since the February estimates.

    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.


    Liked by 2 people

    • An accurate count MUST happen to negate blm’s overpopulation statistics. Driving around in a car or flying over with a plane does NOT give accurate count. There needs to be boots on the ground with many counting every dingle one impossible to get a count otherwise. But this is blm and their tired old song and dance of overpopulation doesn’t fly anymore. With all the roundups, the population in holding and in long term holding( LTH) verifies that the population of wild horses and burrows Left in the wild CANNOT constitute overpopulation any longer. Blm only has eyes for cattle and mining interests. They care nothing about the horse or burrow. Do NOT buy into their statistics. If we do? The wilds are lost forever!!


      • Vickie- Yes.
        Did you watch the independent go-pro video I posted (above) of the Twin Peaks HMA that shows very few WH&B and yet the BLM says there are over 3,000!
        BLM has no supportable science to prove their false population statistics. Why don’t they use go-pro to support their findings? Because it would prove their population statements are false.


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