Horse News

BLM employees face charges in 3 Wild Horse shooting deaths

Arrest made in horse kills

By JEFF GEARINO Casper Star-Tribune

ROCK SPRINGS – Authorities have arrested a Bureau of Land Management employee in connection with the June nogunsshooting deaths of three horses at the agency’s holding corrals.

BLM spokeswoman Lorraine Keith said Tuesday that Jason Hein was arrested in Billings on Friday.

“It’s good news that the process is working … and hopefully we’ll have closure soon,” Keith said.

She said authorities aren’t aware of a motive for the shootings.

Hein is still an employee of the BLM, but Keith said he has been on “administrative leave” from his job at the agency’s Rock Springs Field Office. He has been employed by the BLM for several years.

Keith said Hein is being returned to Sweetwater County to face multiple charges.

BLM personnel arriving for work June 12 discovered that three wild horses had been shot and killed by an unknown person sometime during the night of June 11.

Two of the horses killed were privately owned, and a third horse was a wild mustang that was being held at the corrals.

The wild horse had been gathered as part of BLM roundup operations and was being held at the Rock Springs horse corrals while up for adoption. The agency’s corrals and wild horse operations were not closed as a result of the incident.

The June shootings marked the second time in nearly a decade that wild horses have been shot and killed in Sweetwater County.

In February 2001, more than 30 wild horses were shot and killed on federal rangelands northeast of Rock Springs in the Red Desert. That case remains unsolved.

30 replies »

  1. The BLM has been shooting horses since they were founded in 1946..We just don’t here about it often.The BLM got caught this time. Who watches the BLM? The BLM doesn’t have the internal investigations like the police do. So we have to watch the BLM and their cohorts. We have to make it so impossible for them to do anything without us knowing that they will be looking over their shoulder every time they sneeze.

    If the BLM insists on having roundups as a means of range management and herd control, they must be made to comply with an public outcry for a monitoring system that will help deter tragic incidences such as these shootings.

    How can things like these shootings and other hidden inhumane treatments of horses be deterred?

    A proposal..

    Mandate for the BLM to install CCTV cameras and recorders at each and every holding facility they have wild horses at.

    These types devices can be maintained by a private entity and regularly checked for tampering. If our horses are be rounded up, held captive and then moved around from at the discretion of the BLM and their associates,then we want to know about it.

    If the BLM wants to play hardball then let’s play hardball!

    Horses coming in and out will be continuously monitored on time lapse recorder and reviewed by a team of horse experts to determine proper handling or mistreatment. They can be seen loaded and unloaded and the times of day or night they are moved.

    It’s not a solution to stopping everything that goes on behind the scenes, but I guarantee it will would make them think thrice before doing anything detrimental to the horses.

    I sure would be enthusiastic if my tax dollars were to be put towards a deterrent system like that if I had the option of it.


    • Require cameras on the round up helicopters too!

      That way, giving benefit of doubt here, an accidentially injured horse can be gotten to quickly.


    • “our horses” – YES – that I use in replies on YouTube all the time in response to “if you want to save them buy one and keep them on your land”. So I say someting like “I do keep them on MY LAND – its called PUBLIC LAND, that I PAY for it with MY TAXES, and I want my wild horses left on my public land! So there!” (I don’t really add “so there”)


    • I would be happy for my tax money to go for such a program too. But I’m not holding my breath – at this point I don’t think anything but shutting this out of control agency down and starting over with a completely different approach would really change the situation. The culture of corruption and cronyism runs so deep and has gone on for so long that I don’t think it can ever be fixed.

      People who would do the things they have done are not fixable either.


  2. This is just plain sickening. What kind of monster kills corralled animals? I say an eye for an eye. Put the punk in jail and let his new roommates show him what it’s really like to be caged and man handled. Now that would be entertainment!!


  3. You have got to be kidding. Death by bullet, is muy better then death by starvation, or death by lingering away from your herd, in holding pens. I love mustangs. But we have a hugely horrible situation. Lack of water in the areas where mustangs live, is huge, do we let the mustangs breed and eat all the range, or worse..trample the watering areas to death..allowing other herd animals like pronghorn and deer starve to death? Education is the key. Not bleeding hearts saying oh no no no…they are wild and free. They are NOT wild and free, they are starving, and emmaciated, in many areas, and dying a slow, agonizing death. Ever seen a foal try to nurse off of his dead mama? Then had to watch the coyotes chase him down? BLM is not to blame. Our elected officials give the directions to the BLM.
    Read up, wise up. What kind of monster kills corraled animals. Same kind of animal that send cattle to slaughter. hot shot em up the ramp, baby, and then blammo.
    we ARE a sick society, removed from reality, much of the time.


    • Patti, what state do you live in? Actually, what planet do you live on?

      “So,do we let the mustangs breed and eat all the range, or worse..trample the watering areas to death..allowing other herd animals like pronghorn and deer starve to death”?

      A bit exaggerative I think..You have undoubtedly been brainwashed

      And yes I have seen foals trying to nurse off its dead mother! After she has been run to death by a BLM contracted helicopter.

      You’re right about one thing out of all that you have said! Education is key! However misconception and misinformation is not one of the ways as so many wild horse adversaries try to depict it as! For anyone to spew such utter asininities will exacerbates the issue rather than elucidate it.

      It is those opinions such as the one that you have expressed with such adamants that has the portrayed wild horses as the rangelands parasitic scavengers. Contrarily to your opinion, wild horse studies have shown that they are more of benefit to the rangelands than their counterparts. Elk,deer,antelope and pronghorn sheep etcetera clearly outnumber wild horses. If any ungulate is being cheated from their fair share of grazing it is clearly the wild horse, in spite of biologists and ecologists rigmarole.

      Where do you get your information from? Is the experience of watching a foal trying to nurse from its dead mother then get chased down by coyotes something that you personally witnessed?

      And how about seeing wild horses starving to death and dying of thirst? Is that something that you also stopped to witness?

      I would like for your to show me where this place is. I think that wild horse advocates, or as you put it “bleeding hearts” should know of places like these so that we can look into ways to circumvent the macabre picture that you are painting with your commentary.

      In the past 35 years I have covered over fifty thousand miles following wild horses up and down the southwest and northwest ranges of the United States and never once did I see what you are attempting to convey to this blogs readers..

      Allow me to ask you this question if you will..

      What will it take to show you that your information is inaccurate?


    • Patti…have you seen the pictures of the wild horses from the Cloud gather? I was there, for the entire week and those guys were fatter than any of the TBs in my pastures and they had perfect feet.

      Have you seen the videos of how beautiful and rich the meadows are in the Pryor Mountains?

      Show me the honest to God documentation of starving and dying wild horses. I assure you that you cannot as none exists, it is just another anti-horse rumor that walks hand in hand with the “unwanted horse” BS.

      We are really, really tired of the lies. This site is full of pictures of the health wild horses that my wife and I took, OURSELVES!! We have been there and done that, can you say the same?


      • R.T., at the June 2009 BLM Advisory Board, one public commenter had witnessed starving horses somewhere in Southern Nevada I think – she should be contacted for evidence – were they really wild horses? Or was there animal neglect occuring? If so, why wasn’t it reported in either case?

        I would really like to know more about this womans report. Maybe you are one of the commenters here and can respond?

        Often when bloggers on YouTube are pressed about their comments they are talking about domestic horses, and in their minds they think all horses should be lumped together.

        But, lets say that is correct – that there was this whole wild herd all dying from starvation at the same time. Where was BLM then? Why didn’t the BLM in that case, go in and either feed them, then transport them to one of their holding facilities and feed them some more and sdopt them out, feed and free the ones that could survive, or combination of alternatives. This is what I would think MANAGMENT would be like – not letting a remote pocket of horses go ahead and starve to death over a lengthy period of time as was reported. And then, in response, making no sense what so ever, round up perfectly healthy horses on perfectly healthy grazing lands, just because “some” horses “somewhere” starved somewhere else.

        I may get blasted for this – But if the story is correct, I can see not wanting to live next to this mass starving occuring, seeing and listening. So I guess, in this situation, I don’t see why a sniper, under legitament direction, not just on their own, could not take care of REALLY DYING SUFFERING individual horse(s)where this starvation situation is actually impacting people where they live. If the horse is REALLY going to die anyway – then leave the carcus where it is as if the horse had a heart attack as far as the horses are concerned. Less competition, and less intervention then for the rest of the herd. Of course, someone, some group, would have to make sure and decide, and then of course someone would abuse this too.

        I’m curois, how is this handled with the Corrolla horses where they actually comingle with the residents, when a hore is actually suffering and causing problems to the residents?


  4. I am NOT saying that it is right in any way shape or form, that what happened to these horses was right, correct, excuseable. It is crimminal. Pure and simple. But, how do we condone it when it comes to the cattle industry, and then for the poor mustangs, say it is wrong. Penned animals awating slaughter is no different, then what happened to these mustangs.


    • Patti, cattle are livestock for human consumption. Wild horses are those protected by law, to live in legislated land areas, to live wild. And your correct “penned animals awaiting slaughter is not different” – that is the point exaclty – we do not want these horses living in pens – they are supposed to be wild.

      Hey guys, your wasting your breath asking patti from where she gets her information. I answer these comments on YouTube all the time. I always ask politley (mostly) that I would like to learn more, pleae provide links to evidence. NEVER ONCE have I received a reply. NOT ONE TIME! I have eventually asked some when the BLM “bunny” roundups start – I mean the wild rabbits must be starving too – right? She does not get it, and will not be able to bend her brainwashed mind – she could if she were brave enough.

      One time, after 4 back and forths, I did get the blogger to admit they were talking about released domestic horses.

      You know, its not that hard, if you don’t even want to read – PICTURES. Just watch the Cloud show.


  5. Hey Roxy..
    The horses that were starving were feedlot horses 20 in all. 3 wild horses and quarter horses.. The Horse Angels rescued that particular group.

    What do you want to know about the Corolla horses,Assateague,Great Basin,Sheldon range,Virginia range horses etc.etc?? Just ask me..

    Regarding it being a waste of breath asking the Patti’s of the world and where they got their information from is more of a rhetorical question than a curious one.

    We already know where they get their spew from.


    • Thanks again, as always.

      So, wow, she seemed so genuine, the horses of her subject at the June 2009 BLM meeting were not free roaming wild horses out on the range at all, as she implied. That is very disappointing!

      Yes, I know where they get the info – but why are they so shy about letting anyone know, if they really believe it and they can really back it up? Its like they are ashamed? No answer needed here, just being saracastic to myself really.

      I’ll get back to study in a few days, my time is pretty limited for a few days – but thanks for the info. FYI I found that Myths and Facts already on another site. Still trying to figure out how to collect everyone’s attention in one place, to make it easer to newbys, like myself, but maybe is not going to be that simple.

      You all are so great – I’m just pushy about getting the facts straight – so I’ll get back to you on other herds as I cross curious information.


      • Youre welcome Roxy. As far as getting the facts straight? Thats what we are all have been trying to do for the last 39 years.. The only problem is the facts keep changing everytime Washington appoints a new DOI leader.

        All I am suggesting is don’t expect to understand everything in a short time. Some of us have been doing this since the inception of the “Wild Horse Act” and before and we are still chasing facts..Sometimes the facts about wild horses are an anomaly..

        I just want to ask you one you one thing.. You mentioned disappointment in your last entry. What is disappointing? The women not having her facts straight of starving horses that she saw were not free roaming?

        You have me a bit confused as to why you would think that Patti,the women that supposedly saw a dying foal nursing from it’s dead mother and then get chased down by a coyote was genuine. Her commentary reeked of sarcasm and hatred for wild horses as she feabily attempted to disguise it like she loves “mustangs”. Patti is definitely a rancher that has great despise for wild horses. And it wouldn’t surprise me if Patti is actually one of the bloggers that is posing as an advocate.

        It’s pretty obvious to me that she had been sand bagging this blog for awhile and decided to throw in some archaic information..The myths that she expressed have been dispelled for a long time..

        Because of the amount of activity by wild horse adversaries on this blog, I have decided that I will no longer openly discuss wild horse defense agenda’s and strategies. As for discussing them with anyone in private I will have to know them on personal level before I corroborate with them about anything regarding this issue.


    • I once told a “it’s better than starvation” person to go to the BLM’s website and read their own evaluations of the horses they had just rounded up. I’d already read it, and they had classified the horses as 8s and 9s on the Henneke scale. My vet would kill me if MY horses were that fat!

      My experiences are just like yours though. I never hear from the people again.


  6. Roxy;

    You did not anwer my earlier question, have you actually seen these starving and dying wild horses? The only comment back was that you heard a public presenter in June discuss this?

    I guess you could call me a commentator, here. The blog is named after the book that I wrote and I am also the admin and founder of this blog. We are blessed with not only talented guest writers but also some very wonderful users.

    What do you do, Roxy? What is your background? I am very transparent and my background, points of view and opinions are well known. How about yourself? From whence do you come?



  7. R.T., I did not see the group of starving horses, that was one of the “public commenter’s” at the June 2009 BLM Advisory Board – she was toward middle to end – had on a polo t-shirt with some kind of emblem – all the advisory boards, I’m sure you already know this but for others, can be linked from the link on TCF for this latest one that ended up not streaming. And I did not see the baby nursing from its dead mother, that was patti.

    I tried to send you “who I am, and what do I do” to, but that address was not recognized. I think it is way too much to post here, but if you say so, I’ll be happy to do so. I’m 62, have had a long a varied carrer, so its quit lengthy. In a nutshell, born to cattle/horse peole, lived w/ grandparents though on farm with horses (my wild horse was Topper), one bull, goats, etc., moved to city at age 6 – 7, at age 30 something changed carreers from Real Estate to Fire Sprinkler design, worked for a few fire departments, for 25 years served on or liasoned with every imaginable board, committee – internal and external, now retired. Happy to send you resume, letters of recommendaton, personal recommendations, even annual reviews.

    (I have had my life threatened, so I will not post my address here until I’m sure that has passed by – but I’m happy to provide you and your compadres all that info).

    Recently though – About a year ago, when early retirement loomed due to the economy I started paying attention to lots of other things – what did I “want” to do? Had 3 criteria: had to be something “new”; had to be something “good” (vs. just making money) that I could have a passion for; had to be controversial/cutting edge/political – “a movement”. Accidentally found Cloud on Netflix a few months ago, and well, here I am.

    You asked about opinions, well I’ve got lots. My most recent political favorites – a few documentaries but I’ll pick “the Corporation” and “Food, Inc” (anxious to see Michael Moore’s latest), Google “The Rhythm of Al Gore” -its about “reason” – not environment, and an oldie just stumbled onto – Ron Paul – The American Power Elite (1) (2) (3) August 1988 interview. I’m anti “breeding” anything for pet or show – should be a moratorium until there are no more euthanzias of healthy adoptable animals. I don’t even watch the “dog shows” anymore. Am looking for a group that would like to see licensing to breed, and my opinion is that one criteria would be to donate time at animal control in the euthanasia section. I think our consumerism will do us in if we don’t stop, but I don’t know how to do that either, it’s like quitting smoking. I see the medical profession as just a bunch of drug pushers and cutters – it turns out they have pretty much ruined my health, and now finding out none of it even needed to occur.

    I’ve spent most of my free time until about 10 years ago camping, fishing, adventuring, just being in the “outdoors”.

    To answer Mustang Jack, yes, I was very disappointed in someone addressing the “WILD Horse & Burro Advisory Board” and using an example of horses starving NOT wild , not disclosing that. And I’m very lost as to why public comments are not turned into agenda items, why they don’t have public study sessions, etc. etc. But, I’m not familiar with Federal government practices, only local and state.

    I don’t think I paid patti any respect – I suggested screening like Rush Limbaugh – joking of course. This is so obviously a wild horse advocate group, why would patti even be here. Then I thought, well, gives good ground to discussion.

    I’m accustomed to working in “public meetings” and taking and answering questions, researching, everything on the table and up front and disclosed, so I won’t be offended to be left out of any “defense” strategies – GO FOR IT. But, where I think I have a strength – I think we need to figure a way to boil this down to something that is simple, and that’s what I’m struggling with, if others, and others are needed, are to support this fight (pardon my bluntness – you guys have been fighting this internally now for how many years?), it needs to be as simple as “Smokey the Bear” – you don’t need to understand forest fire dynamics. I think Makendra said it best on the Howling Ridge (?) radio spot about kids – it needs to be that simple.


    • Roxy, the BLM only asks for public comments because they are required to. They don’t pay the slightest attention to what the public thinks or wants. Public comments are not ON the BLM’s agenda – period.

      The Department of the Interior has long been considered the most corrupt of all the government agencies – and THAT is really corrupt! – and the BLM has always been in bed with the ranchers and extractive industries. All they want to do with the horses is get rid of them, and it’s been that way from the very start.

      It IS hard to believe, but this “culture” is so deep and long standing that they and their cronies don’t even seem to feel they are doing anything wrong.


  8. I watched the Pryer Mountain wild horse herd be chased down the mountain a distance of near 15 miles. Tempertures at the the bottom of the mountain were 100 degrees and above, The BLM people stuck near the air conditioned offiice or drove up on the mountain so yhey could say I never seen anything out of the ordinary every thing went great. Which was the contrary. They didnt stay near the horses to see them ome in ehausted to a point that all they could do was stand and shiver and be jaustled around into loading corralls when they could hardly move. the Pryer mountain horse herd was taken of of good pasture. Sure the top of the mountain gets ate off because that is the only two water basins for them to drink. Any pasture gets ate off around the watering hole.. These horses have lived here for the last two hundred years or more. If BLM and Forest service would give them a area with grass they woulld do fantastic with out any of the BLM Help.. It is terrible to have to say but the the most detramenntal thing to the Pry mountain horses is the government agency that is supposed to protect them. I invite everyone to go to the pryer mountains and and visit this herd. All the way up you see cattle on good water and grass but the wild horse pasture has only a high mountain corner that has any grass, All the rest of the pasture is mountain desert with no grass other than a mouthful every five to ten steps and this is what the BLM wants to save. I set at the National BLM Wild Horse and Burro meeting in Washington DC and My whole summerazation of that committee is that they all hate wild horse’s and want to see every one of the horses gone so a rancher can start putting cattle on these wild horse ranges. This committee set for hours and talked about how to get rid of horses at a expence of hundreds of thousands of dollars, Not one of the committee said lets see if we can get some water wells drilled for these horses on some of their more dry arrid areas. Not one nickkle to save a horse


  9. having worked professionally in the Radio biz for 20 years, yes, it important to keep things as simple as possible. Listeners/viewers are going to be varied in terms of understanding what you are communicating. It’s best to make it simple so everyone understands other than using big or unfamilar wording and loosing someone because they are frustrated.

    To make an analogy…it’ like how the BLM writes it’s gather proposals..they write them out so one does not understand a thing unless they have a doctorate on their initials in front of their name…and it’s done on purpose so those of us in the simpler frame of mind do not have a clue and know how to respond.

    As far as “Patti” goes, she smells like Slaughter Sue Wallis to me.


  10. oh so a former BLM employee was “arrested for animal cruelty ?
    thanks for the info; my stance is this: I like to help Horses and other Critters with simple nutrition; such as Biotin for sound hooves; etc.;etc.

    so my question is: Why does the BLM not treat the Horses with nutrition and better hay; so the Foal has Hoof problems; these could be treated with “minerals;

    so my point is: in the past 5 years or so; I have seen and or read “countless stories and pix of any type of horse which has a health problem;
    and these are usually domesticated horses ! so I agree;

    “just judging by the pix of the Wild Horses @ Calico; I see healthy and vibrant horses; I have seen pix of “underweight horses; (mostly in barrend pastures) and I can tell you these Horses at Fallon do not resemble a ” starving or sick horse in any way or manner; I was surprised at how great the Horses’s health is on range; but believe you me; every Horse @ Fallon will begin to suffer health prob.

    a. no shelter or stalls from (cold wind whipping over those plains;
    b. rain and snow are brushed from the horse in nature by shrubs and trees;

    there is no one in the pens brushing the rain and snow from their backs…ps just standing on “wet earth alone: can cause Hoof rot; even a child “gets it ! A.

    a. blankets; windbreakers; fly sheets; stalls; barns; some type of refuge ! plz.


  11. hello? that is nothing ! ! ! Dr. Richard Sandford DVM has “personally shot about 50 Mustangs at the Fallon corrals; including Foals; Stallions; Mares and get this:

    Dr. Sandford acutally “shoots late term pregnant mares in 9th; 10th or 11th mo. ! !

    Stop the Madness ! ! ! (I have not heard of anyone “shooting a preg. mare; ever !
    (until i heard of Dr. Sanford of the BLM doing this!; speak out; or hold your peace


  12. He’s still employed? The guy should’ve been fired and then filed charges with the county. If any of us had done that in the private sector we know full well our job just went down the drain.

    Only in the government can you shoot wild horses that YOU ARE SUPPOSE TO BE PROTECTING and walk away with no consequences.


  13. This is about as simple as I can make something that defies belief make sense.

    In 1997 the Clinton-Gore administration signed (with reservation)an updated version of the ratified in 1972 International Plant Protection Convention. In fact, this particular treaty had been open for signatures since 1952, but after Congress passed the 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act, a group of American citizens, quasi-scientists, and FWS determined to get rid of our wild horses and burros decided to change the narrative about them into something different than was reflected in P.L. 92-195, U.S.C. 16, 1331-1340. Instead of living monuments to the history of the West and the pioneer spirit., our wild horses and burros became a threat to plants—an invasive, pest species. In 1992 UN CBD Article 8 (h) to prevent, control, and eradicate alien species in states or parts of states where found was signed by the Clinton administration, but never ratified. Therefore, in 1997 the 1972 Act was “updated” to be consistent with the 1992 UN CBD. Since an international treaty is supposed to have more legally binding authority than a federal or state law, updating the 1972 treaty to include the intents and purposes of the 1992 Article 8 (h) may have made it legal to get rid of wild horses because they pose a threat to plants—-not seriously—but due to an actor supported by former VP with strong interest in profitting from climate change fears.


    • Except for the small problem that our wild horses are NOT alien, invasive pests. They are native to North America and we have the hard science now to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. The horse-haters can wail all they want, but the science is clear and irrefutable.

      May I suggest they target the cattle, which are definitely NOT a native species and are absolutely destroying our Public Lands.

      I haven’t the slightest idea of what you are talking about at the end of your post, so I can’t comment on that.


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