The Centennial, Panamint, and Slate Range herd areas (HA) encompass roughly 1.73 million acres of public and private land and is home to over 500 wild burros.
Based on a plan developed in the early 1980s, the BLM issued a decision to “zero out” all wild burros living in these three HAs, noting land and water issues as well as human burro conflicts. This 42-year-old management plan has not been reevaluated since its inception. AWHC filed a legal appeal on, arguing that the agency failed to evaluate new scientific evidence showing that wild burros dig for water in desert environments, boosting the availability of water in desert landscapes across the American West and how the removal of burros from similar ecosystems has caused the extinction of rare fish species. Unfortunately, the appeal was dismissed and the zero-out plan is still in place.
The last roundup occurred in this area in June 2021 and 290 wild burros were captured from the Centennial Herd Area using helicopter capture methods.
The current roundup aims to use helicopters to chase up to 490 burros from the three HAs as well burros found outside the HA in the Death Valley National Park over the course of 14-20 days.
The lifetime cost according to BLM's own estimates will be approximately $23.5 million to house the captured burros for the remainder of their lives in government-holding corrals.
The roundup is slated to start on April 25, 2022, and AWHC will have an observer onsite to bear witness. We will update you as it continues.
Total Captured: 181 wild burros
Total Dead: one burro.
May 5, 2022: Nine wild burros were rounded up today. There were no deaths, but the BLM notes "One jenny had minor rope burn on left shoulder and left hind above hock, treated with Vetericyn Plus." The roundup ended early today.
May 4, 2022: Two wild burros were captured today. Operations ended early due to high winds.
May 3, 2022: 17 wild burros were captured today. There were no deaths, but the BLM reported "One jack had a small abrasion to his forehead and was treated. One jenny had a slightly lame right front leg."
May 2, 2022: 16 wild burros were captured today. There were no deaths, but according to BLM "one jenny had an old injury to the right hind hock and was shipped to corrals for further evaluation."
May 1, 2022: 51 wild burros lost their freedom today and there was 1 death after a Jenny suffered a head injury from tripping.
April 30, 2022: 8 burros were captured and removed today. The BLM again did not permit public observers.
April 29, 2022: 23 wild burros were rounded up and removed today. The BLM again did not permit public observers.
One chronic injury was noted after a Jack, estimated to be 11 to 15 years old, exhibited lameness in his right front foot due to hoof contraction. According to BLM, he is being provided with opportunities the rest and the corral staff is monitoring.
April 28, 2022: The helicopters did not fly today due to wind.
April 27, 2022: 55 wild burros lost their freedom today. This is the fourth day of the roundup that the agency has not permitted public viewing.
April 25 and 26, 2022: Over the last two days, the BLM Kingman Field Office captured 24 wild burros.
This is the 3rd day of the roundup and BLM has not allowed any public observation citing public safety concerns.
AWHC Field Representative found a few burros enjoying their final days of freedom in Death Valley.