National Geographic : 1978 Jul
Assaulting a dilemma, park rangers led by Jim Walters (left) begin an experiment to remove from the canyon feral burros whose ancestors arrived with early prospectors. While undeniably appealing (right), the animals are also destructive, cutting networks of erosion inducing trails (below), stripping vegetation, trampling archeological sites, and competing for food and territory with desert bighorn sheep and mule deer. Routine shooting of the burros, begun in 1924, finally raised howls of protest, prompting rangers to try immobilizing darts instead of bullets. The plan: to see if burros can be removed under sedation. Cost in time, money, and manpower: very expensive, with park budget and manpower already stretched membrane thin. Outlook: not very promising.