The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Kingman and Lake Havasu field offices are seeking public input on an environmental assessment analyzing a proposed wild burro gather and use of fertility controls within and near the Black Mountain Herd Management Area (HMA). The area is located in western Mohave County.
The estimated wild burro population in the Black Mountain HMA is more than 2,200 — nearly four times greater than the target population of 478, creating impacts to landscape health and wildlife, according to BLM. Additionally, BLM says wild burros have wandered onto private lands outside the HMA seeking food and water, causing public safety impacts on area roadways as well as private property damage.
For these reasons, local communities have requested that the BLM address the wild burro overpopulation in the Black Mountains and return the HMA to its target population level.
“We are looking forward to receiving public input as we evaluate a variety of humane solutions to addressing the significant overpopulation of wild burros in and around the Black Mountain area,” said Kingman Field Manager Amanda Dodson. “Ultimately, the BLM’s primary goal is to achieve healthy public lands that can support healthy wild burro herds, wildlife, and other natural resources.”
But burro herd management has been controversial in the past, with disagreement among members of the public about how to manage herd sizes and populations.
Wild burros have no natural predators, resulting in rapid increases in population. Without management, herds can double in size every five years. BLM says that its management of burro populations keeps the burros in good physical condition and protects the health of public lands and native wildlife habitat.
The environmental assessment analyzes the use of fertility controls, sex ratio adjustments, and periodic removal of wild burros over a 10-year period to maintain the target population within the HMA. All action alternatives analyzed in the EA ensure humane treatment of the animals. Any wild burros removed from the range would be made available for adoption or sale to good homes through the BLM’s Adoption and Sales programs.
The BLM is requesting public comments on the EA and has made the document available for review and public comment on the BLM ePlanning website: https://go.usa.gov/xVatt and at the Kingman Field Office, 2755 Mission Blvd., Kingman, AZ 86401, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The BLM is accepting substantive comments for 30 days, from March 2nd through April 1st, 2020. Only comments specific to the project will be considered. Comments should contain new technical or scientific information relevant to the proposed action. Comments containing only opinions or preferences will not receive a formal response but may be considered in the BLM’s decision-making process. Multiple comments containing the same information will be responded to once. Interested parties can also deliver or mail written comments to the Kingman Field Office. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or any other personal information in your comments, please be advised that your entire comment, including personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While individuals may request the BLM withhold personal identifying information from public view, the BLM cannot guarantee it will be able to do so.