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Sierra Club Conservation Policies

Feral Animals

The Sierra Club calls for the control of feral burros in a manner that protects native flora, fauna and soils.

Adopted by the Board of Directors, May 3, 1975

Feral Burro Management Policy

I. Recommendations: Species recognition

  1. The Sierra Club recognizes that feral burros and feral horses are two distinct species. Ecological niches are dissimilar.

II. Recommendations: Management and Control

  1. The feral burro must be strictly managed and controlled.
  2. Federal and state agencies must ensure that burro management methods are humane.
  3. The Sierra Club recognizes the necessity of utilizing mechanized transportation (helicopters) for management purposes, i.e. for censusing, reconnaissance and access to habitat areas.
  4. The use of firearms by competent federal agencies or their appointees is a humane method of direct reduction of feral burro population.
  5. The Sierra Club endorses the concept of private ownership of feral burros as pets or pack animals.
  6. The Sierra Club opposes the utilization of feral burros for sporting purposes, including wrangling or mustanging of herd, burro racing, or for any similar activity.
  7. The Sierra Club suggests that, when feasible, carcasses resulting from burro reductions be donated to government institutions.

III. Recommendations for Protection of Native Ecosystems and Fragile Resources

  1. Burro herds must be culled in areas where native habitats have become impoverished because of overpopulation, and where overgrazing is evident. Burro herd numbers should be maintained at a level that would minimize impact on native habitat.
  2. The burro must be eliminated from all federal and state lands where they pose a threat to habitats in which rare, endangered, threatened, or endemic species of flora or fauna exist.
  3. The feral burro must be eliminated from all areas protected by the Antiquities Act.
  4. The feral burro must be eliminated from all national parks and monuments.
  5. Burros must be managed and controlled in national recreation areas, and removed from those sections of the NRAs in which they pose a threat to rare, endangered, threatened, or endemic biota, or cultural sites protected under the Antiquities Act.

Adopted by the Board of Directors, November 21, 1981

Policy on Public Range

14. Feral horses and burros should be eliminated from key wildlife habitat, including the desert bighorn habitat of the American Southwest, and from designated natural areas. In other situations, their numbers should be carefully regulated to minimize conflict with wildlife, livestock and other range values.

Adopted by the Board Board of Directors, November 21-22, 1981

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