Horse News

BLM finally offers a public tour of wild horses on Axtell feedlot


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)

It seems that the BLM’s last tour of the wild horses on the Axtell feedlot was Dec. 14, 2015.  It does not help the BLM’s dismal adoption program when they give so few public tours of their wild horse & burro facilities on private property.

Source:  BLM

News Release
BLM Utah                                                                                        Contact: Lisa Reid
For immediate release                                                                    (435) 743-3128
June 12, 2018

BLM to host public tour of Axtell wild horse corrals

Axtell, Utah — The Bureau of Land Management today announced it is offering a public tour of the Axtell Contract Off-Range Corrals in Axtell, Utah on Thursday, July 12, 2018. The facility is one of two locations in Utah that provides care to wild horses removed from the range.

The tour will be open 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Mountain Standard Time. Tour attendees will have an opportunity to tour the facility, observe approximately 800 wild horses currently held there, and discuss the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program.

The corrals are located at 13500 South 10490 West (mile marker 235.2 on Highway 89) in Axtell, approximately 6 miles south of Gunnison or 8 miles north of Salina. Please note that some phone map applications do not recognize this address.

The facility encompasses 32 acres containing 40+ holding pens in various sizes, and can provide care for up to 1,200 wild horses. The horses receive abundant 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 facility are made available to the public for adoption or sale throughout the year on the BLM’s Online Corral ( or at events held across the country. Horses will not be available for adoption during the public tour.

To learn more about the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program or to obtain an adoption application, visit the BLM National Wild Horse and Burro website at or call (866) 468-7826.

For more information, contact Lisa Reid, public affairs specialist, at (435)743-3128 or Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to leave a message or question for Lisa Reid.  The FRS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Replies are provided during normal business hours.


12 replies »

  1. This is the most depressing sight I have seen on facebook and mail received about Wild Horses. Lord Help Us!!! This is sad, horrible, shameful embarrassing as a country and as a human being. This property owned by a private family which they are paid a Large amount of money to use, The Kerry Despain Family, Utah, must be investigated and a report to the American people put forth. This cannot continue and must not continue. BLM, You are a Disgrace!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. WHY are these horses on private land? The Government has enough land for these horses, they should Not be contained anyplace, they should be free to roam their homeland. There is birth control that is not invasive and must be used, not ripping overies out of horses. Shame on the Human person who even thinks about doing something like that. You have no sense or feelings for a living being. We are so ashamed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is the same ranch owned by retired Bureau of Land Management (BLM) employee Kerry Despain, who ran the now defunct prison mustang program at Gunnison prison. There was an Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigation into the Gunnison prison program. The OIG investigation stated “of the $3,918,437 in claimed costs, we identified $1,303,455 in unallowable costs and $628,244 in unsupported costs, totaling $1,931,699 in questioned costs.” This money came our of the pockets of us tax payers and into the pockets of who?

    In addition, the BLM Gunnison Prison facility is where many many many wild horses died due to “gelding complications”. Gunnison prison facility had been a death camp for many of our wild horses (per FOIAs) and yet Despain, the retired head of Gunnison’s BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro program has our wild burros and wild horses on his private property and gets generously paid for it to keep them in this “feedlot”.

    In recent years numerous wild equine in the “care” of Despain have died. In 2016, at least 25 burros (that we know of) who were part of the hundreds torn from their native Utah land known as “Sinbad” died of a supposed rare virus at this BLM facility.

    Question: Did anyone ever get arrested for the alleged multi-million dollar “mis-placement” of taxpayer money from the Gunnison Prison BLM program?

    Question: Did Despain get the burro holding contract because of his long time BLM connections to Gunnison prison and to Utah’s head of BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program and is this a conflict of interest or preferentialism and if so was this legal?

    Question: Were Gunnison prison inmates allowed to “practice” castrating the wild horses and burros like they have done at other Bureau of Land Management Prison Programs?

    Question: If the Gunnison prison wild horse and burro management had such a high death rate how can we expect that same person will provide good care for our wild burros on his private land?

    These wild burros belong to you and me and they already have a home on the range – per the unanimously voted Congressional 1971 Wild Horse Act and where the BLM is required by law to protect them where found on their legal land and protect them from harassment and protect them from capture and protect them from branding and protect them from death.

    Click to access 2015WR062Public.pdf

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This makes me want to explode! They finally offer another tour but they won’t allow adoptions? Why the hell not??? They say they have too many in holding but when they have an opportunity to adopt some (every time they do these infrequent tours) then they say they won’t allow adoptions. It’s pure insanity!

    Then they have the audacity to say that they can house 1,200 horses on 32 acres, yet our public lands can’t sustain (less than) 200 a herd on thousands of acres???

    Preaching to the choir I know, but it’s like being trapped in the Twilight Zone…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Just got an email from Buffalo Field Campaign – the 700 acres of the Galanis property where the buffalo have always been welcome & SAFE has been sold. Bison safe zone sign has been taken down & BFC has been told they are not welcome there! Are there ANY wild animals safe from the reach of these corrupt politicians? I think its really strange that the BFC had no warning about this sale.

    Liked by 2 people


    In the Presence of a Sacred Transition
    May 17, 2018

    “Stupid animal”, the human pronounced as he rolled his eyes in our direction. He was referring to the mama buffalo I watched pass into the afterlife last week. She had become ill and weak with pregnancy complications and fallen below a small wooden fence, unable to get up. This was my first week with the BFC (Buffalo Field Campaign) and the first animal I ever watched die. As a lover of animals, naturally I was upset. I watched this beautiful creature lose more and more of her strength, and in return I lost mine. To my dismay, quickly after we arrived at the scene something amazing happened.

    In the next hour I would watch a community of people who have in the past quarreled, yelled and even hated each other, all come together to mourn this sacred mama. We the activists, were first to arrive. As we planned our next move, the county Sheriff drove up and joined us. A little on edge, I watched him immediately go to the back of his truck and pull out a hand saw, cutting mama bison free from the fences grip. During this removal we were joined by a notably problematic DOL (department of livestock) agent. With us, he encouraged the Sheriff to cut the fence (which mind you, was on private property without the permission of the owner).
    Shortly after, a few of our most eminent BFC pioneers joined us to say goodbye to mama buffalo, as well as many folks from the neighborhood, including the property owners who were completely understanding. There was sage being burned, sacred songs being sung and love, gratitude and sadness radiating out of us all. About an hour later our mama buffalo passed. I reflect on this experience with such fondness for the community I shared it with.
    Our common love for animals and the ability to empathize with all mammals and living things is a quality I wished everyone could grasp. I reflect on this human who came to us asking about the “stupid animal” that got herself stuck under a fence and died. If he only knew the whole story. If only he knew how many hearts that one amazing creature had touched that afternoon, I think he would have a more serene understanding of life. All I can say to him is …”Stupid human”

    Liked by 3 people

    • The cruelties & abuses that are done to these and other wild animals, only because humans believe themselves to be the only important species on this earth. Comforting to know that there ARE people who truly care. Whats done to these wild animals – all so they can be “managed ” by us – really shows just how intelligent we are!

      Liked by 2 people

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