Big Bear Burros

Feral burros can be seen in the National Forest areas around Rose Mine, Juniper Springs and Broom Flats east of Highway 38.

Once again a round-up of wild burros in Big Bear Valley will be done by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) as part of the Wild Horse and Burro Program which is governed by the 1971 Wild & Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act.

If you’ve been around the valley for any amount of time you will remember how burros plagued homeowners on the east side of the valley and the outcry from burro lovers that resulted when they were rounded up about twelve years ago.

People actually hid some of the burros so they would not be captured.

When I returned to the mountain and lived on the east end, I used to hike and see the burros daily out behind Hamilton Estates.

The big problem began when new homeowners came in and fenced off their lots and the springs contained within that property.

The wildlife relied on access to those springs and when the last once was actually capped off, they had to go somewhere.

The burros in the valley are feral animals and the ancestors of those brought up into the valley by the miners.

Many will remember that during Old Miner’s Days, there used to be a burro race until public outcry eventually put an end to the event.

Any captured burros are supposed to be moved into an adoption program run by the BLM, at the Ridgecrest Regional Wild Horse and Burro Corals, where they will be available for adoption to individuals and groups willing and able to provide humane, long-term care.

The problem is that the burro herd moved from the San Bernardino Forest lands, east of Baldwin Lake, into the residential areas of Erwin Lake and Sugarloaf–probably in the search for new water sources because of the inability to access the springs previously used by the herds.

Apparently several burros were injured and killed along Highway 38 in the last year and the animals have returned to causing damage to residential landscaping and homes.

The previous roundup (1997) captured 90 animals that had become habituated to humans because of food handouts, eating trash, and access to pet food.

The current herd seems to be circulating down around Shay Meadow and up across Highway 38 up to Sugarloaf and Wild Horse Meadows.

Authorities hope that any remaining burros after the round-up will retreat back into the woods and lower elevations.

Hmm, how about finding a spring for them…to entice them to stay out of territory all this development is claiming?

If you live in burro infested territory, authorities request that you:

  • Do not leave food or water out for burros.
  • Secure trash cans and dumpsters.
  • “Gently” chase burros away when they enter residential areas.

You can report sightings to Fawnskin resident, Robin Eliason at (909) 382-2382 or via E-mail at reliason@fs.fed.us.

To learn more about the BLM’s adoption program for wild burros and horses, call 1-866-4mustangs



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This entry was posted on Friday, October 16th, 2009 and is filed under Mountain Lake Resort.

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2 Responses to “Big Bear Burros

  • 1
    Cricket
    October 16th, 2009 18:32

    I think the City and Forest Service should put out bait to rid the neighborhoods of the nasty rodent population. Also, while they are at it, they can call in animal control and set traps for the raccoon and coyote populations. To assist in fire control, all these empty lots should be paved, and the areas can be used for parking facilities during the snow season. While they are at it, I am sure the area behind VONS near the lake could be negotiated to put in a shipping mall. We could attract Kohls and perhaps a few of the outlet chains. While the men are at Oktoberfest slammin’ them down, the women can be shopping in the mall.

  • 2
    GG (Gossip Girl)
    October 17th, 2009 08:48

    LMAO You sound like you should write a post for the Fawnskin Flyer! You forgot to mention the spikes on the railings to keep the birds from pooping all over the decks. Plus, they could dynamite the lake to get rid of the excessive carp instead of using the labor intensive methods they use now!