A writer with Outdoor Life hit the trail with one of the permittees to bring you this report about conditions on the ground now that the burros are gone.
The HMA covers about 1.1 million acres in western Arizona and has an AML of 478.
A roundup in May took almost 1,100 animals off their home range.
The Operator Information Report in RAS ties the rancher to two grazing authorizations, 0202009 and 0202017.
The Allotment Information Report associates the authorizations with the Black Mt Unit A and Castle Rock allotments.
The Western Watersheds map puts Black Mt Unit A inside the HMA and Castle Rock on the eastern flank. Click on image to open in new tab.
The permittee holds all of the active AUMs according to the Allotment Master Report.
The Authorization Use Report indicates he’s grazing year around, like the burros.
Black Mt Unit A is in the Maintain category while Castle Rock is in Improve.
Allotments in the Improve Category exhibit vegetative and watershed conditions that don’t meet objectives and standards for rangeland health.
Allotments in the Maintain Category comply with those standards.
Unit A likely achieved this status before the burros were removed.
The 1,247 AUMs per year sold to the permittee would support 207 wild burros.
If the rancher was confined to his base property and expected to pay the going rate to feed his animals, taxpayers would not have to pick up the tab for 207 wild burros.
As for the PZP jennies, the advocates at HSUS, signatories to the rancher-friendly “Path Forward,” will probably want the experiment to continue so most of the resources in an area set aside for wild burros can be consumed by privately owned livestock.
Good work, guys.
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