In 1996, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Wildlife program funded the fencing of Mulberry Spring; in 1997, Willow Springs; and in 1998, Red Spring; in 2001, Horse Flat Spring; and in 2002, Hocky Puck Spring to protect riparian and wetland habitat on the Hualapai Reservation. The work which will be conducted under this agreement is similar to the projects at these springs. Cement Spring is a small spring located northeast of Peach Springs in Prospect Valley. The soils have been churned up by the animals, the water fouled, and the site has a foul odor from heavy feral livestock use. Fencing the spring and developing of an off-site water supply will allow this wetland/riparian habitat to recover.
Horse Flat Spring Wetlands Restoration Project
The availability of water can limit the carrying capacity of many wildlife populations and riparian areas. At Horse Flat Canyon water is scarce. At Horse Flat Spring the area surrounding the spring is devoid of vegetation due to trampling by horses and burros; water collects in footprints in the mud. The soils have been churned up by the animals, the water fouled, and the site has a foul odor from heavy feral livestock use. The only wetland vegetation at present is around the upper edges of the slope; water soaks into the ground below the shelf. Removing the feral animals and livestock will allow this wetland/riparian habitat time to recover. Given that the Hualapai Tribe derives significant income from big-game hunting in this region, it is the Hualapai Tribe’s desire to improve conditions for wildlife in this area through this type of enhancement.
Burro Capture Report
On August 4, 2002, Mario Bravo met with the utility game helicopter capturing crew, who were contracted by the Natural Resource Department, along with Annette Morgan, Program Manager, and Scott Crozier, Tech. 4, at the Hualapai Lodge.
In order to make plans for a successful burro capture the following items were discussed in detail, which canyons the capture would take place, the time of departure in the morning and how many burro's would be captured.
Horse Flat canyon was the main focus point for this burro capture. The Natural Resource Department had previously set up 2 panel corrals for the burro capture. On August 5, 2002, Mario Bravo, Scott Crozier met with the capture crew at 5:00 a.m. at the Hualapai Lodge to begin the process of capturing.
Mario Bravo was designated to fly with the Helicopter crew and perform a reconnaissance of the area (Horse Flat Canyon). Scott Crozier accompanied the fuel vehicle to Horse Flat.
After observing Horse Flat Canyon, 25 burros were located and the capture began immediately. Three burros were captured before the Fuel Truck and Natural Resource Employees arrived. A total of 24 burros were captured throughout the day.
Two trips from Horse Flat were made to Peach Springs, with one load of 10 burro's, and the second load with 12 burro's. A total of 22 burros were captured on August 5, 2002. The utility helicopter had a veterinarian an hand, to ensure the safety of the captured burros.
The comments that were expressed by the pilot and crew, verified my concerns that there are many more burros in this location and surrounding canyons. It would be my recommendation that the Natural Resource Department survey the surrounding areas for burros and other non native animals and remove them in order to protect our native plants and wildlife.
Due to the knowledge and expertise of the Helicopter pilot and crew, the time span of capturing the burros indicated a successful burro capture. All the equipment that was used was of high quality. I feel that this crew could be utilized again for any type of capturing on the Hualapai Reservation.
The Natural Resource Crew also contributed to the successful capture of these burros, by releasing the burros from nets which were airlifted to corrals located at Horse Flat and having equipment ready for the Helicopter crew. Crew members from the Natural Resource were Addison Mohler, Biologist, Scott Crozier, Tech 4, Mario Bravo, Loren Bravo, Richard Butler, and (Denard Walema, summer youth)
Approximately 2 acres of fence will be constructed around the spring. The fence will be constructed to allow for the passage of wildlife by providing jumps made from cedar posts at potential locations where game may cross the fence line. Approximately 1,500 feet of 2" pipe will be laid from the spring to a tank. The tank will provide water for livestock and facilitate the trapping and removal of trespass cattle and feral burros and horses. This project will allow the riparian and wetland habitat to return to its natural state and provide important habitat for neotropical migrant birds and a suite of riparian obligate species, including waterfowl and amphibians.
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