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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
April 17, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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April 17, 1997

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Outdoors / Operation Game Thief: 1-800.992.3030 Operation Cal- Tip: 1-800-952-5400 Pahrump Valley Gazette, Thursday, April 17, 1997 21 Poacher sentenced to jail time by David K. Rice A California man will spend 90 days in jail, pay $6,000 in fines and other monetary penalties, and lose an estimated $5,500 in hunting equipment for the illegal possession of a Nevada mule deer. Larry Gene Miller, 47, of Santa Rosa, plead no contest to the charge of unlawful possession of a Nevada deer, also known as poaching, on February 12, 1997. His original plea agreement called for Miller to spend 30 days in jail, pay a $5,000 civil penalty, a $1,000 criminal fine, and forfeit his four-wheel drive ATV, rifle, and the mounted deer head that lead to his convictions. District Court Judge Peter Breen sentenced Miller to 90 days in jail. Judge Breen increased the jail time from the original plea agreementbecause he found Miller's actions "reprehensible, and that he fully intended to commit the crime of poaching." Breen also ordered that Miller spend his jail time from September through November, the height of hunting season. Breen's sentencing also includes a lifetime ban on hunting in the state of Nevada. "Nevada game wardens spent several years compiling information about illegal activity on Granite Mountain, near Gerlach, in northern Washoe Co.," according to Division of Wildlife game Warden, Rob Buonamici, Reno. "This is one of the toughest sentences ever handed to a poacher in Ne- vada". "We have received bits and pieces of information for several years regarding the poaching of large mule deer in the Granite Mountain area. When sufficient information was gathered, we were able to determine who was involved in the illegal killing of deer, who was assisting in the cover-up of illegal activity, and where the illegally taken wildlife was being stored." Buonamici said that last July, more than 25 suspects and witnesses were interviewed by 16 officers from NDOW, Washoe Co. Sheriffs Office, California Fish and Game, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These interviews, he said, resulted in the seizing of enough evidence to initiate a Washoe Co. Grand Jury investigation which resulted in the indictment against Miller. Additional charges are pending against other individuals at ts tme, Buonamici added. "We are indebted to the Washoc Co. District Attorney's office for their cooperation in the prosecution of this case," Buonamici said. "The sentence sends a strong message to anyone who steals Nevada's wildlife that when you do get caught, there is a strong possibility you will spend a consid- erable amount of time in jail in addition to significant mon- etary penalties." Robert M. "Jim" Nelson honored for National Conservation Achievement Viermna, Virginia, April 7, 1997---The National Wild- life Federation (NWF) presents U.S. Forest Supervisor Robert M. "Jim" Nelson with its prestigious National Con- servation Achievement Award in a special ceremony April 5 at the Federation's 61st Annual Meeting in Tuson, Ari- zona. Since 1965, NWF's National Conservation Achievement Awards have been presented to individuals and organiza- tions that provide leadership in spreing the conservation message and protecting natural resources. For 1996, awards were presented in the following categories: Outstanding NWF Affiliate, Communications, Corporate Leadership, Education, Government, International, Organization, Sci- ence, and Special Achievement. Mr. Nelson received the award in the Government category. As the U.S. Forest Service Forest Supervisor for both the Humboldt and Toiyable National Forests, Jiim Nelson over- sees the largest national forest area in the continental United States. However, the challenge he faces comes not from the size of his district but from a militant group of ranchers; miners, and local government officials who belong to the so- called "County Supremacy" movement. An outgrowth of the Wise Use movement, county su- premacists reject federal jurisdiction over public lands, openly defying rangeland laws which protect the environ- ment. U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management policies--and the people who enforce them--have come under fire from these individuals. And nowhere is this conflict more evident than in Jim Nelson's district. In 1993, the Nye County (Nevada) Commission passed a resolution which claimed ownership of and control over all public lands within county borders. County officials have vowed to arrest federal employees for enlorcing laws gov- erning public lands. Neighboring Elko County began a grand jury investigation into Forest Service practice as a challenge to federal sovereignty. More seriously, Forest Service employees have been harassed, threatened and in- timidated. In 1995, a Forest Service office and a Forest Ranger's home were the targets of bombings. In an article about the controversy. Denver Post reporter Jim Carrier wrote, "Both sides trace the current conflict to the arrival of one man, U.S. Forest Service Supervisor Jim Nelson.." Jim Belson's presence is the cause of such rancor it is because he is doing his job and doing it well. "We aren't in the business of producing range for cattle. We're managing an ecosystem." he says. Recognizing that "the health of the land has risen as a priority as our understanding of ecology has risen," he and his employees have impounded cattle for nonpayment of grazing fees and cited ranchers who violate grazing regulations. Environmental journalist Ted Williams has singled out Jim Nelson as one Forest Service official who isn't afraid to stand up to the Wise Use crowd. Jim Nelson's commitment to reclaiming rangelands and reparian habitat while still allowing commercial use of the land is helping to change the perception of the Forest Service as a pawn of ranching interests. In Fly Rod & Reel, he said, "I want to keep cattle on the public range. It's a way of life; it's important for local economics. But we have to have good management." The nation's largest member-supported conservation ad- vocacy and education group, the National Wildlife Federa- tion unites people from all walks of life to protect nature, wildlife, and the world we all share. The Federation has educated and inspired families to uphold America's conser- vation tradition since 1936. Its common-sence approach to environmental protection brings individuals, organizations, and governments together to ensure a brighter future for people and wildlife. Explore Yosemite and the Ansel Adams Wilderness Access Yosemite National Park this season without having to wrestle with traffic. Hikers, horseback riders, fishermen and all other types of outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to take a different approach to vacationing this year with the Frontier Pack Train, based in June Lake, CA. Specialty trips planned through out the spring, summer and fall will take travelers into Yosemite National Park and the Ansel Adams Wilderness. The journeys emphasize differ- ent attractions; each based on the diverse activities the Sierra Nevada Mountains have to offer. A series of fly- fishing trips are scheduled beginning during the last week- end in June and continuing until the end of July. Fly fishermen will be packing into the solitude of the Ansel Adams Wilderness to reach the best spots to catch Golden Trout. The owners, Dave and Kent Dohnel, have been outfitting fishing trips for the past eight years and have selected the very best camps and fishing spots possible. This excursion, as well as all of Frontier's trips, is a fuU-service trip. Accommodations include prepared meals, tents, solar showers and outdoor latrines. With over 30 years of accumulated packing experience in the Sierra, the Dohnels personally attend to safety and hospitality, ensuring a vacation that will be remembered for a long time. Other trips offered: an introduction to mountain horsemanship, the natural history and ecology of the envi- ronment, wild horse observations and even an opportunity to participate in a horse drive. A family Safari Adventure, planned for June 27-29, offers families three days enjoying the excitement of the natural world (as well as making a great"What I did over the summer" essay). Minimum age is six years old. FuU-service hiking trips are also offered for those who would rather enjoy the journey on foot. All levels of riders are welcome. Participants will be matched up with gentle, well-trained horses suited to begin- ning or expert riders. Reservations for all trips must be finalized thirty days prior to the starting date. To take advantage of the trips before they fill up, call Dave at (619) 873-7701.