An increase in the number of traffic collisions on the Bullhead Parkway involving wild burros is once again bringing light onto a problem that only the federal government can legally answer, but the mayor doesn’t believe the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is properly addressing the issue.
The BLM conducted a special burro removal operation in three specific regions of Mohave County in the fall of 2015. A total of 155 burros were transferred to an adoption holding facility in Axtell, Utah. Although the Bullhead City area is reporting the most human contact with burros, their city saw the fewest number of burros removed– 30. The BLM blames their budget for not being able to do more for Bullhead City.
The removal project took 75 burros from the Twin Mills Pasture area, which is on the eastern flank of the Black Mountains in Golden Valley, which is located within the Black Mountain Herd Management Area (BMHMA). Another 50 burros were taken from the North Lake Havasu area.
Because of the colder than normal temperatures in the Tri-State area, several groups of burros trekked into Bullhead City in December. A total of four traffic accidents were reported on the Bullhead Parkway as a result of the latest burro adventures.
“I think we should have had them all removed from our area,” said Bullhead City Mayor Tom Brady, “but (the BLM) chose not to do that without consultation from us.”
The mayor believes the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 requires the BLM to coordinate with local authorities when burros are found to have wandered off federal public lands.
“They’re supposed to coordinate with us, but they haven’t been doing that,” Brady said. “Our hands are so tied it’s ridiculous.”
City officials are routinely called upon by residents to remove or create some plan to address the wild burro situation within the city limits, but federal law mandates that only the U.S. Department of the Interior deal with wild burros, which it does through the BLM.
In 2014 the BLM determined there were approximately 1,600 burros roaming around the BMHMA. The BLM has said the land can only sustain 478 wild burros.
Brady says that he and other city officials have been in contact with U.S. Sen. John McCain, (R-Arizona) in an effort to seek his assistance on the issue.