The ~Texas~ Mustang Project's Blog

Working for better management options and cohabitation through compromise and communication for the American Wild Mustang

Stop BLM Helicopter Roundup of 100 Burros In Arizona

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on May 2, 2010

From the IDA: Stop BLM Helicopter Roundup of 100 Burros In Arizona

(Resource Links Posted at the Bottom) Ok, so usually I don’t do the form-letter-petitions just because I would rather write my own words into what I send out on behalf of our wild equines and wildlife. However, in this case, I have made an exception – sort of. I signed the petition and sent my letter, with a little bit of my own words added in for good measure!

Ok, my words now… Come on guys, seriously? Helicopters for burros? Are you guys really that lazy LOL? This is just ridiculous. Look, burros are difficult. Trust me, I know. But do ya remember the old cartoons where the burro had the carrot tied to the end of a stick dangling in front of him? There’s a reason why those cartoons were even thought of to begin with: it’s because it actually does work. You find what *their* carrot is and you dangle it in front of them until you get them to where you want them to go. I know, I know… You think you’ve tried every carrot that you can think of before and it either hasn’t worked or it takes too long. Tough nuggies! Try again. And again. And again. You keep trying until you get it right. I could tell you what works for me here in my neck-of-the-woods, but that wouldn’t work for you there because your burros are different than my burros. Mine have different wants and needs because of the different soils and forages and nutritions available. Yours are not the same as mine. So figure out what they want and give it to them. Just make it on your terms. “Either do things my way or don’t get the *carrot*.” It just seems like a whole lot of overkill for burros. Well, I’ve said enough for the moment. Hope you guys are all well. As always, stay safe! T. 

This really is ridiculous you know. I mean, it’s not like these little boogers can run as hard and fast as horses even in normal exertion activities. Think about it: have any of you who have ever watched burros for any length of time seen them run across a pasture or a range for any length or distance the way that a horse will? Just for the sheer fun and enjoyment of the act itself? No, they are usually running away from something. Horses will do it to play and have fun, or to compete against each other, or even just to show off. Burros are sitting on the sidelines thinking sarcastically, “Dude, yea, you look great. Woo hoo. Joy. Meanwhile, I’m chilaxin’ over here and I still look cool.”

Burros are not built that way. They don’t have the long, lean, athletic bodies that horses do. They have sustainable bodies. They have bodies that serve their purposes. They are actually hardier and stronger than horses, and tougher to boot. Anyone who’s ever been on the wrong side of a burro’s affections can testify to this. A horse will forgive your transgressions 20x’s faster than a burro will ever even think of doing such a thing. But they also won’t turn on you without good reason. If you did something wrong enough to make them mad enough to turn on you, then Bubba – you deserved it!

Running them for miles on end with a helicopter in 105 – 115 degree heat is one of those things that would make you deserve their ill-will. Of course, the burro would have to live through it first in order to show you his displeasure. Even as hardy and strong as they are, they still cannot stand up to this kind of exertion without some kind of physical and psychological consequence. Again, we have the same situation as we do with the horses.

The BLM wants to adopt out these little equids to nice, loving homes. Well, “nice, loving homes” usually tend to go for nice, loving animals. I hardly believe that a burro would be nice and loving to any human for quite some time after going through an ordeal the likes of which a helicopter or ATV gather would place in his memory. This is why burros are so obstinate (more so than usual) once they reach the gather trap sites. And instead of understanding this behavior as a natural reaction based on their own unique personalities, the misunderstanding continues and they are further subjected to acts of ill-treatment that only further their negative memory markers.

It’s a vicious cycle: The burro acts out against what it perceives to be a threat. The human acts out towards what it perceives to be stubbornness. The burro furthers it’s attempts to protect itself; the human furthers its attempts to force compliance. Before it’s all said and done, one of them breaks down. It’s not usually the human. It’s the burro.

These little burros are an extraordinary member of the Equus family. They are strong, smart, fiercely protective, rough around the edges but soft in the middle, healthy as anything I’ve ever seen, and above all else, they are loyal. Their loyalty to the ones they bond with – human or animal – is something quite spectacular to behold. But they also have limits, just like any other animal – or human. When you push those limits, the consequences may not been seen and understood fully by you, but they are heavily seen and understood by the burro.

Find a carrot, not a gas station.


BLM Yuma AZ FO Environmental Library 

Office Contact:
Yuma Field Office
2555 East Gila Ridge Road
Yuma, AZ 85365-2240
Phone: (928) 317-3200
Fax: (928) 317-3250
Field Manager:  Todd Shoaff
Hours:  7:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., M-F


24 Responses to “Stop BLM Helicopter Roundup of 100 Burros In Arizona”

  1. Tracie, Again, Thanks for getting this up, your words and all!! mar

  2. Linda said

    Three burros that were adopted from the rescue last year had evidence of rope burns on their necks. Cheaper to use burros for roping practice than those precious calves – cripple the poor little guy, then throw them away! I coundn’t believe they all had pretty good dispositions after what they’d been through.

    • Linda said

      Wonder how many “adoptees” may suffer this fate, especially after they’ve be held past their adoption dates and can be sold for peanuts?

      • I can answer that one… A bunch of ’em. Why do you think the burros don’t get adopted as often as the horses? Because they’re not perceived as being the true little admirals that they are by the public. All the public sees is the ruff-n-tuff bad attitude that they’ve been forced into by the ways they’ve been treated.

        • You know what? I should amend that statement… All the public sees is the ruff-n-tuff bad attitude that they’ve been forced into by the ways they’ve been treated.
          I should say that most of the public sees this, and also that not all of the burros have this attitude. Some are just die-hard and “hopeless romantics” who can’t stay mad I suppose. No, they’re not many of them like this, but there are exceptions to the rule.
          Sorry bout that.

    • That right there is one that just chaps my hide worse than a saddle sore on Sunday! To everyone who uses a rope of any kind on an animal: Don’t you dare, EVER, use a rope that leaves burns! Don’t you ever, EVER!, use even that rope so hard that it leaves burns! I swear! That is just downright uncalled for and there ain’t no sense in it AT ALL! We never use ropes that are caustic. We use 1″ braided cotton “bull ropes” whenever we actually have to use ropes. They’re softer and don’t burn if used properly. My personal lariat rope is also made of cotton, and yes, it has rawlsin on it to make it stiff. However! My rope is a soft rawlsin and I’ve never left burns on a cow, horse, or burro with it because I don’t dally that damn tight! Furthermore, I always judge the animal and his actions / reactions to make sure that it doesn’t come to that. It may mean that I have to take a little bit longer and it may mean that I have to adjust my plan but hot dammit that’s just the way it’s gonna be! My body is not the one who’s gonna be stingin’ like a bottle of rubbin’ alcohol poured over an open wound for reasons that I don’t understand! His body is! If your daddy didn’t teach you better than that then you need to come see mine. He’ll fix your hind end up right quick, if’n I don’t get to it first!



  4. sandra longley said

    Mar has info they are now postponing this roundup until fall-but the comment period is still May 5..Having read their proposal..It contradicts what they said what was in the best interest and safest means to gather the burrors-unless they are still congregated on the banks of the colorado at that time..does that have an effect on the comments we made..and do we need to come back and adress that..sure would like to hear from some of the people in that area who represent the burrors and are familiar with the circumstances-they mentioned a very active local interest in the burros..under recreation considerations they mentioned the traffic in the area from smuggling illegals..which cracked me up!

    • sandra longley said

      My next question..have they reduced the cattle allotments, I believe it was around 1 million acres for cattle..they also said the bighorn and deer populations would do better if the burro numbers were reduced..yet it is my understand in my reading of big horn populations-that they donot compete for the same forages-unless the bighorns are hanging out along the colorado in the summer months. I can see where burrors could access those areas that wild horses would not tend to go..but do they? Is there any pictorial evidence of that?

  5. reveil39 said

    That’s just the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Helicopter for burros.
    Does anyone know when the round up is scheduled?


    2.1 Proposed Action
    To achieve the AML for wild horses and burros with the Cibola-Trigo HMA, the YFO must remove 100 burros from the HMA. The current population of wild burros is estimated to be approximately 276, based upon population estimates in 2004 and a removal of approximately 116 burros since that estimated population. The removal is proposed within the Arizona portion of the HMA and would be split into two areas. The removal is planned for late May or early June 2010 with a target to remove 50 burros at each of the two areas. The first area would be on the northern portion of Imperial National Wildlife Refuge near Yuma Wash. The second area would be on the southern portion of Cibola National Wildlife Refuge between Lopez Wash and Hart Mine. The proposed action is part of ongoing management to maintain a healthy population of wild burros in balance with their environment. The proposed removals would leave a population of approximately 165 wild burros within the Cibola-Trigo HMA in Arizona.
    Gathering operations would be conducted according to a Wild Burro Gather Plan (Appendix B) and would start no later than June 15, 2010, and would continue until the required AML is achieved. This gather plan is a helicopter-assisted removal with a wing trap.
    The gather would be completed using helicopter-assisted herding into a wing trap as a primary method. Other methods of live trapping wild burros may be employed when determined that Wild Horse and Burro Removal EA

    • sandra longley said

      The roundup has been re scheduled for Oct-or when ever the contractor can squeeze it in..Please watch the video I have linked here..there is also a video from KLAS tv from 2007 but I could not get it out of the archives..of burrors being kicked in the head by blm roundup people, you can at least read the story..This video tells the story of burros scheduled to be shot that were rescue and how they rounded them up..see how quickly thet come to humans..and if you ever tried to load a wild horse in a trailer like’d get your brains kicked out!

    • sandra longley said

      Notice they include bait trapping as an alternative and then later on state they are NOT going to use bait trapping as it is too time consuming..I am going to suggest they go to the bait trapping since they are postponing the roundup until fall..use the time this summer when the burrors congregate at the colorado river and do what if it takes all summer..its easier on the burros and saves the taxpayer around 700,000 for the 7 day helicopter roundup in the fall-you can afford to employ some unemployed citizens to get it done-instead of dropping all that money in one busineses pocket.

  7. sandra longley said

    O.K. this is a bit of a propaganda film… is still worth watching..the roundup of burrors from lake mead in Nevada…too much BLM and not enough of the burros.

  8. Janet Ferguson said

    testing one two three
    testing one two three

  9. Janet Ferguson said

    I would also like to know about the – 15% – 23% rate of reproduction or increase; this is based on a study done IN THE LATE ’70’S by two authors according to the EA!!! I am under the impression that the “count” that was done when the “Act” went into effect was VASTLY UNDERCOUNTED and as a result the subsequent “rates of increase of populations” were overrated?

    Comments, please?


  10. sandra longley said

    Their population figures come off of a computer modeling program..they plug in the figures and the computer projects the population increase in numbers…problem is..the numbers have to be real..supposedly that program does some adjustment and figures projected births versus deaths to come to those figures..don’t think it makes an adjustment for horses or burrors that are killed by humans or on the highway or those that are poisoned or those that will die in the roundups..and then project the loss of population for those figures..Altho they do state a hard winter could kill off as much as 49% of the population in exixtence…The thing is that 20% figure is kicked out on every HMA…they did chose to disgard that 20% number when they did the EA for the adobe town salt wells HMA and just overrode the USGS and said the population rate was 26%..which i pointed out in my comments..must be some rare form of “twin” survival in those horses

  11. sandra longley said

    So-in july of 99 they inventoried 749 burrors with infrared..(might have been illegal aliens they were catching on those rays…they did a roundups between 2002-4 and removed 650(they also show a removal of 137 in july of 99(don’t know if that was before or after their infrared attack)..and in 2004 their inventory showed 170 on the land they removed 116 by baittrapping from 2004-2010..are they really sure those little beggars are that prolific? They are removing many of the young stock that would have been breeding stock for how do they factor that into the computer modeling..they state they donot run in familys like horses..yet I have seen groups grazing on the desert..if they don’t catch and release how do they know they haven’t got a disporportionate amount of males out there-with less amount of females to breed which will horribly skew their numbers?

    • Janet Ferguson said

      Reading the EA: I am not sure what the TECHNICAL definition of “recruitment” is, however, they justify 15% by stating that the fact that they found over 14% of a rounded up herd of burros’ to be yearlings PROVES that there is a 15% “recruitment” rate– that sounds like a gross missstatment to me!!!!

      I would think “recruitment” would be more like the “net” population growth after births, deaths, over a period of one year — or rather as an average over a period of time that is far greater than one year.

      How idiotic do they think the public really is?

  12. LOUIE COCROFT said


  13. LOUIE COCROFT said


  14. LOUIE COCROFT said


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