Attachmate CEO blows away 32 bison on his ranch

September 14, 2008

Don’t fence me in 

Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above, 
Don’t fence me in. 
Let me ride through the wide open country that I love, 
Don’t fence me in. 
Let me be by myself in the evenin’ breeze, 
And listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees, 
Send me off forever but I ask you please, 
Don’t fence me in. 

Just turn me loose, let me straddle my old saddle 
Underneath the western skies. 
On my Cayuse, let me wander over yonder 
Till I see the mountains rise. 

Apparently Jeff Hawn, CEO of Attachmate which provides mainframe connectivity software, wasn’t aware or didn’t care about “open range” laws:

Miles of barbed-wire fences line area roads and property boundaries. Unlike rural areas in other parts of the country, Colorado and most other Western states are “open range,” meaning livestock can roam wherever they wish. If land owners don’t want animals on their property they are urged to build a fence to keep them out. Ranchers don’t have to fence their animals.

So when a neighboring rancher’s bison crossed onto his property and didn’t stay off (who do those bison think they are??), instead of putting up a fence around his ranch like anyone else in Colorado, he invited a number of hunters in to blow the animals away:

The remains of 32 bison were strewn across Hawn’s property and nearby land. Deputies learned that 14 hunters received a letter from Hawn giving them permission to hunt bison on his property.

Now he’s charged with theft (you could say he stole those animals when he killed them, leaving them pretty well attached to his property) and animal cruelty.

Now why would he want to piss off all his neighbors and face prison because some livestock came onto his ranch leaving their tracks and dung? I don’t livestock can help doing that on pasture land. Anyhow, was it due to arrogance borne of being an IT CEO? (Common I hear.) Ignorance of local mores and laws (fairly common with outsider wealthy people in those parts.)  Funny he filed a lawsuit and didn’t wait for the legal process to take effect. 

(My employer happens to be an Attachment customer.. oh well)

According to Attachmate’s website,

Jeff Hawn, Chairman, President and CEO

Jeff Hawn serves as Attachmate’s chairman, president and CEO, determining overall corporate direction and setting the company’s business and acquisition strategies. 

Mr. Hawn’s experience includes multiple strategic and senior-level positions related to the mainframe software market. Prior to joining Attachmate, he was an operating partner with JMI Inc., where he led the firm’s private equity acquisition and operating activities. Previously, Mr. Hawn was a senior vice president at BMC Software, where he held several key management positions. Additionally, he  has served as a partner at the global consulting firm, McKinsey & Company. 

Mr. Hawn serves as an active member on several boards, including Applimation, Pervasive Software and Vignette. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Southern Methodist University, and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas.

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