Saline Preservation Association

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Posts: 61
There will be burros in Death Valley long after the Park Service is just a memory.

(More Asses, Less Bureaucrats!)


Posts: 1
I myself will plan to remove the fences and plant baby palms because I like burros and shade. Like to see them stop me

Posts: 20
So then - no point for the NPS wasting tax payer money erecting a fence around the springs!
Problem solved!

Posts: 15
This plan to remove burros is likely part of the management plan.

Las Vegas Review Journal

Park Service signs deal to round up Death Valley’s wild burros

By Henry Brean    / Las Vegas Review-Journal
May 17, 2018 - 5:35 pm

Death Valley National Park hopes to be burro-free within the next five years.

The National Park Service said Thursday it has entered into a contract with Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue, a Texas-based nonprofit, to round up and remove up to 2,500 wild burros from the park 100 miles west of Las Vegas.

The animals are not native to Death Valley, but they have made themselves at home there, said park Superintendent Mike Reynolds. They damage springs and vegetation, create a safety hazard on park roads and compete for food and water with desert bighorn sheep and other native animals.

“Burros are not part of the natural California desert ecosystem,” Reynolds said in a written statement. “With this partnership, we have created a win-win situation for the burros, the park and taxpayers.”

Starting later this month, Peaceful Valley will lure the animals with food and water or drive them with wranglers on horseback into temporary pens. The burros will then be trucked out of the park to training centers to be prepped for adoption.

“Our main objective is to protect our wild burros. If they must be removed, we want to ensure that it is done safely with as little stress possible,” Mark Meyers, the rescue group’s executive director, said in a written statement.

“This is what they do,” Death Valley spokeswoman Abby Wines said of Peaceful Valley. “Their main mission is to rescue burros and put them up for adoption.”

Wines said the group has agreed to find room at one of its sanctuaries for any animals that can’t be trained or placed in new homes.

Pleasant Valley also plans to remove up to 2,500 wild burros from nearby Mojave National Preserve in California under the same five-year contract.

The operation is being paid for with private donations and grants to the group. Wines said the cost to the federal government is “pretty close to zero.”

Eliminating wild burros from Death Valley has been the Park Service’s stated goal since the adoption of a master plan for the 3.4 million acre park in 2002, but no roundups have been conducted since 2005.

So why now? “They’re multiplying,” Wines said. “We don’t really know what our population is, but we think it’s in the neighborhood of 2,000.”

The largest concentrations of burros can be found in Saline and Butte valleys and in the Wildrose area, she said, but the animals also have recently shown up in the Black Mountains south of Dantes View for the first time since the 1940s.

The National Park Service is allowed to remove them because it is not bound by the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, which requires the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management to manage and maintain the animals on public land.

The wild burros of today are not related to the larger animals used in the 20-mule teams that famously hauled borax out of Death Valley in the late 1800s, but Wines said they may be the descendants of old pack animals once used by prospectors in the region.

“That’s the foundation of the wild population in the West,” she said.

The Park Service doesn’t expect the upcoming roundup to eliminate the burro problem entirely.

For one thing, Wines said, “it will be very hard to get all of them.”

And there is nothing to stop burros from neighboring parts of Nevada and California from making their way into Death Valley some day.

“We’re not going to fence the park,” Wines said.

Contact Henry Brean at

Posts: 11
Only thing bad about a galvanized bucket is the zinc fumes are toxic when burned off.

Looking forward to the SPA position paper. Probably best if we all get on the same page. 


Posts: 20
In Anza Borrego the only way you can have a fire is to haul in your fire ring.
One of these has been working for me for a few years now when i head there......with holes drilled in the side.
Seems like an easy solution?
10 bucks from Home Depot! behrens-metal-mop-buckets-2x-64_1000.jpg 


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Posts: 113
I believe that it won’t be designated to camping at a site specific number, say go to camp #1 and put up your gear, it will be based on where NPS puts the ash pans/grills/ inside the dispersed area. It seems likely the fire pans would be set permenant as so they don’t wander out of the Park. NPS wants to keep campers back 200’ from the source springs so there will be some sort of delineation for these campsites.

SPA board is meeting on Thursday to draft our position paper, so look for it in your e-mail or on this web site at the end of the week.


Posts: 48
ETA for SPA's official position please? I am aching to comment.

Posts: 35
Oregon John, I don't think that is exactly correct. The preferred alternative (#5), says that the "dispersed" camping areas will remain, but doesn't say that there are to be "designated" campsites. The map seems to show that the dispersed areas look about like they do today, although to me it looks a bit narrower along the road above the upper (Palm) springs. I read that the "walk-in" camping is only for extremely crowded times, and that will have designated parking.  I also read that they anticipate maintaining current visitation numbers, in general.
Sam D.

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Posts: 775
Interesting read about the struggle between the tribe trying to take control over the springs and folks trying to keep the springs in the hands of the people:
Geothermal Shane

Posts: 6
Well, why keep Scotty's Castle then? Why keep a golf course in Furnace Creek? Furnace Creek resort is composed of countless non-native grasses and plantations of unnatural palm trees, in addition to extensive commericalized resort development that far exceeds the comparatively scant commodities of the warm springs. I find it hard to accept that any purported degradation at the springs could surpass that due to construction at the main center of the park, which has met no such apparent contentions. If any plan is chosen to address the springs in an ecological sense, it should be addressed uniformly across the park. I agree that perhaps some camp regulations could be useful, but the interest in specifically affecting the springs seems biased. If you carefully read the EIS there is evidence of insufficient and poorly correlated research.

Posts: 20
Thanks for that break down John - I'm for sure not happy about a lot of these proposals and will attending one of the meetings for sure.


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Posts: 113
I will try and clarify some of the issues some users are having:
With the NPS preferred plan(alt. #5) there will be a fence surrounding the entire springs area (184 acres) and will be 5' high 4 strand smooth wire to blend into the desert patina. 
There will be a mandatory camping permit (no cost) with designated campsites with a sign in log. A designated overflow walk-in camping areas with defined parking.
The camp host area will basically be torn out and the auto repair will be gone.
The lawn at lower spring would be torn out.
The bat pole and the big peace sign would stay but most of the rock art and smaller peace sign would be gone.
The dishwashing stations will stay, but signage and a filtration system will be implemented.
The soaking tubs would be altered to accommodate those with a disabilities. To what extent isn't explained.
Bleach and cleaning supply storage would have to meet OSHA standards. I believe spill proof cabinets of some design would be installed for this.
No campsites within 200' of source springs. As of now it is 100'.
Chicken Strip stays.
Palms will be removed from Upper Warm Spring (NOT Palm or Lower).
All the user created fire rings will be gone and NPS will provide some sort of ash pan or grates for campers. The community fire ring/area would stay at the lower spring.
Remove the piping from the Burro Spring. No more water for the mesquite trees and the burro trough.

I hope this answers some of the confusion about what the NPS is proposing. Nothing is written in stone, as of yet. so get your comments ready and attend the upcoming meetings. 
SPA board will have a position paper coming out soon on these issues.



Posts: 61
A note to Kevin:

There is no need to "purchase" the Springs: they already belong to The People - not the Park Service, not the Timbasha, not the County of Inyo.


Posts: 61

No one is going to tear anything down, native or non-native. This includes any person who is in any capacity representing the Park Service. The time of government pushing people around has come and gone. The Park Service can SAY anything it wants about Saline Valley, but there is a limit to how far we will allow them to go.

Again, NO.

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