Forest Service Rounds Up 50 Burros in Shay Meadows Area in Recent Weeks

This burro opted not to join the others in the Forest Service's corral but, we're told, watched from afar.

This burro opted not to join the others in the Forest Service's corral but, we're told, watched from afar.

Big Bear Valley’s burro population boomed in the 1990s, likely the result of the since-discontinued Old Miners’ Days burro races; following the days long race, burros would be released around Baldwin Lake and, over time, a herd of burros built up in that area. The U.S. Forest Service responded in 1997, and rounded up 90 wild burros and placed them in the Bureau of Land Management’s wild burro adoption program that operates from Ridgecrest and offers the burros to individuals and groups able to provide humane, long-term care for the animals. In mid-October of this year, the U.S. Forest Service began another burro roundup, the first in 12 years, to mitigate the influx of burros in the Shay Meadows area, as the animals have done damage to residential landscaping while also putting themselves in harm’s way, by venturing onto the highway. To secure the burros for transport to Ridgecrest, biologists with the San Bernardino National Forest are using a corral trap in Shay Meadows, which draws the burros in given the food and water provided. As of Friday, November 20, 50 burros had been rounded up and transported to the BLM adoption site. When this project started, it was estimated that 51 burros were in the area though now, as Forest Service Biologist Robin Eliason tells KBHR, “We know that there are some more, somewhere between eight and 10, still hanging around Shay Meadows. It’s getting harder to trap them because there are fewer of them, and they seem to be a little more wild. It’s not our intention to catch them all—we want some still out in the forest. We just want to get the ones that are hanging out in the residential areas and close to the highway.” Valley residents and visitors are reminded to secure trash cans, and do not leave food or water for the burros; if they approach, it is recommended that you gently chase them away. Eliason notes that once we get a good snow, the remaining burros will likely head down slope toward the desert but, she adds, “We are going to leave the burro trap set up this week, through Thanksgiving weekend, and then will reassess at that point.”

These are among the 50 burros rounded up in the Big Bear Valley in October and November, and now available for adoption through the BLM in Ridgecrest.

These are among the 50 burros rounded up in the Big Bear Valley in October and November, and now available for adoption through the BLM in Ridgecrest.

[caption id="attachment_10502" align="alignright" width="400" caption="This burro opted not to join the others in the Forest Service's corral but, we're told, watched from afar."]This burro opted not to join the others in the Forest Service's corral but, we're told, watched from afar.[/caption]

Big Bear Valley’s burro population boomed in the 1990s, likely the result of the since-discontinued Old Miners’ Days burro races; following the days long race, burros would be released around Baldwin Lake and, over time, a herd of burros built up in that area. The U.S. Forest Service responded in 1997, and rounded up 90 wild burros and placed them in the Bureau of Land Management’s wild burro adoption program that operates from Ridgecrest and offers the burros to individuals and groups able to provide humane, long-term care for the animals. In mid-October of this year, the U.S. Forest Service began another burro roundup, the first in 12 years, to mitigate the influx of burros in the Shay Meadows area, as the animals have done damage to residential landscaping while also putting themselves in harm’s way, by venturing onto the highway. To secure the burros for transport to Ridgecrest, biologists with the San Bernardino National Forest are using a corral trap in Shay Meadows, which draws the burros in given the food and water provided. As of Friday, November 20, 50 burros had been rounded up and transported to the BLM adoption site. When this project started, it was estimated that 51 burros were in the area though now, as Forest Service Biologist Robin Eliason tells KBHR, “We know that there are some more, somewhere between eight and 10, still hanging around Shay Meadows. It’s getting harder to trap them because there are fewer of them, and they seem to be a little more wild. It’s not our intention to catch them all—we want some still out in the forest. We just want to get the ones that are hanging out in the residential areas and close to the highway.” Valley residents and visitors are reminded to secure trash cans, and do not leave food or water for the burros; if they approach, it is recommended that you gently chase them away. Eliason notes that once we get a good snow, the remaining burros will likely head down slope toward the desert but, she adds, “We are going to leave the burro trap set up this week, through Thanksgiving weekend, and then will reassess at that point.”

[caption id="attachment_10503" align="alignleft" width="570" caption="These are among the 50 burros rounded up in the Big Bear Valley in October and November, and now available for adoption through the BLM in Ridgecrest."]These are among the 50 burros rounded up in the Big Bear Valley in October and November, and now available for adoption through the BLM in Ridgecrest.[/caption]

Related posts:

  1. Forest Service Rounds Up 50 Burros in East Valley; Burro Adoptions Offered in Redlands This Saturday
  2. Forest Service Plans Wild Burros Round-Up, the First in 12 Years
  3. U.S. Forest Service Re-opens 3N14, Closed Since the Butler #2 Fire of 2007