Horse News

BLM offers a measly 2 hour public tour of their Axtell, Utah wild horse & burro “prison”

After several years, the BLM is offering a first ever public tour of wild horses and burros on the PRIVATE property of Kerry Despain at a holding facility in the far flung area of Axtell, Utah.   For a measly 2 hours, the BLM will allow you see the wild horses and burros that you could once enjoy on public lands.  You’ll also have to suffer through BLM propaganda, under the guise of a “general discussion” about their badly mismanaged Wild Horse & Burro Program.  This is a flat area with no shelter, so the BLM is probably in a hurry to get this tour out of the way before any big snow storms hit.

Although this BLM Press Release claims that the Axtell facility has been open since June 2015, the BLM employee who wrote the Press Release apparently didn’t see The Richfield Reaper newspaper article dated Sept. 8, 2013, noting that this same Axtell facility had been taking BLM wild burros “for the past 18 months.”  Whatever.

Kerry Despain was an integral part of the BLM’s Gunnison prison Wild Horse and Burro Program, where many wild horses died due to “gelding complications.”  Last year it was noted that Kerry Despain received about $2,500 per day for only about 500 burros (per – $1,474,205 in only two years).  Another sweet deal for a BLM crony.


Horses eat as officials from the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program show the 32-acre off-range corral Monday, Sept. 14, 2015, in Axtell, Sanpete County. The property is owned and operated by Kerry Despain and his family. (Photo: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) 

Source:  BLM Press Release

BLM to Host Public Tour of Axtell Wild Horse Corrals

Salt Lake City—The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today announced it is offering a public tour of the Axtell Contract Off-Range Corrals (facility) in Axtell, Utah, on Monday, Dec. 14, 2015. The facility is one of two locations in Utah that provides care to wild horses and burros removed from the range.

This is the first public tour offered since the privately owned and operated facility opened in June 2015.  The tour will be open from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Mountain Standard Time. Attendees will have an opportunity to tour the facility and observe approximately 650 wild horses currently held at the facility, including the 170+ wild horses associated with the September 2015 Wheeler Pass Herd Management Area emergency gather that occurred near the Cold Creek area of southern Nevada. There will also be a general discussion about the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program.

The facility is located at 13500 South 10490 West (mile marker 235.2 on Highway 89) in Axtell, Utah; approximately six miles south of Gunnison, Utah or eight miles north of Salina, Utah.  Please note:  some map applications do not recognize this address.

The facility can provide care for up to 1,000 wild horses and encompasses 32 acres containing 40+ holding pens in various sizes. The horses receive an abundance of feed tailored to their needs each day, along with a constant supply of fresh water through automatic watering troughs. Free choice mineral block supplements are also provided to the animals in each pen. A veterinarian routinely inspects the horses and provides medical care as needed.

The BLM strives to place horses removed from the range into good, private homes. Horses at the Axtell Contract Off-Range Corrals are made available to the public for adoption or sale throughout the year on the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro internet adoption site, off-site adoption events and through the BLM’s adoption or sales program. Horses will not be available for adoption during the public tour; however, if there is interest in an animal viewed during the tour, adoption arrangements can be made through the Delta Wild Horse and Burro Facility by calling 435-864-4068.

11 replies »

  1. The Cold Creek Wild Horses were taken to Axtell after being captured and removed from their Legal Herd Management Area.(or what’s left of it) in Nevada. Much of their original HMA had been taken from them for private/special interests:
    Cumulative Totals
    Animals Gathered 234
    Returned to Home Range 0
    Animal Deaths 30
    August 31 Animals shipped: 43 (Axtell, Utah)
    September 2 Animals shipped: 41 (Axtell, Utah)
    September 3 Animals shipped: 49 (Axtell, Utah)
    September 4 Animals shipped: 37 (Axtell, Utah)
    September 12 Animals shipped: 30 (Axtell, Utah)


  2. What, do they think in some twisted way that letting the public view them will appease this problem a little? Still want to know where all these horses are offered for adoption? Bastards.


  3. AND ANOTHER facility with NO SHELTERS !!! These mustangs NEVER should have been removed…..Say thanks to the cattlemen and corrupt BLM !!!!!!!!!!!!! ALL being paid for by taxpayers, including money going to cattlemen. 12 million taxpayer dollars last year for helicopters to round up OUR mustangs, 14 million dollars this year. BLM is out of control..more and more mustangs are going to slaughter, against Federal Law.


  4. And will our 906 wild burros supposedly held at the Axtell (Kerry Despain) compound be checked on too???

    Click to access WOFacRpt111815_web.pdf

    And as for when Kerry Despain got his first BLM holding facility contract … yep April 2012. Recipient: DESPAIN, KERRY, M
    13500 S 1049 W, AXTELL, Utah
    Department/Agency: Department of Interior: Bureau of Land Management
    Signed Date: 04-13-2012

    And per since 2012 Kerry Despain has been paid $4,245,913.

    And how interesting that at about the time Kerry Despain retired as the BLM WH&B program lead for Gunnison Prison, “an audit by the Office of Inspector General released last year [2013] shows a more than million-dollar discrepancy between the two entities that raised questions over the costs. The Utah Correctional Industries under which the program operated reported costs of a little more than $5.3 million for the five-year contract period, of which auditors said $1 million was “questioned” —or not allowable under the terms of the agreement. Of that million dollars, $928,000 was deemed “unsupported,” meaning documentation related to the costs was insufficient, the report said.”


    • Embblezment, malversation, influence peddling, forgery of government records, fraud, conspiration to commit fraud and it goes on and on.

      I would expect this from the Sicilian mafia not from a federal agency.

      Just how many criminals, crooks, charlatans and lowlifes are living off the wild horse gather/slaughter apparattus?

      Really, five million for basically throwing a bunch of horses in an old cattle feedlot until people forget about them and get shipped to slaughter?

      The only operational costs are providing hay and little more… until they are funneled to slaughter. I’d say they go for less than $250k year-round. The rest is just pure profit.


  5. You will notice that they only allow a short tour in this feedlot but if anyone asked about other tours at feedlots in other states I would bet they would give the same excuse of privacy for the feedlot owners that they have been peddling. The number of horses in these pens will gradually get smaller as they are secretly hauled to slaughter all the BLM has to tell the public is that some of the horses were moved to other pens.


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