NC Wildlife Federation increases reward in bear poaching case

CorrespondentJune 26, 2013 

The N.C. Wildlife Federation has added $17,000 to increase the reward to $20,000 in the case of the killing, painting and dumping of a black bear in Buncombe County last week.

The contribution to the reward pool, announced Friday, comes because the federation wants to help solve a poaching case that reflects poorly on law-abiding hunter who uses North Carolina’s forests.

“We are hoping the amount of the award will get folks talking,” federation CEO Tim Geswicki said Monday. “Incidents like this cause a blight on true sportsmen who practice ethical and responsible stewardship. We are offering these resources to support our wildlife law enforcement folks and to underscore the seriousness we place on what is without question a calculated, callous and reprehensible act of destruction. This wanton waste of wildlife resources … must not be tolerated.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service started the reward pool with $3,000 for anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest, a criminal conviction, a civil penalty assessment or forfeiture of property. Call the commission’s toll-free wildlife violations number at 800-662-7137. Rewards for anonymous tips do not have to be made public.

The dead bear was found just more than a week ago on a Buncombe County road with “WHATS BRUIN?” painted on its head and “w-h-a-t-s” across the claws on the right paw and “b-r-u-i-n” across the claws on the left paw, according to an N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission news release this past Thursday.

The state is prosecuting cases from Operation Something Bruin, a multiagency effort targeting the poaching of bears and other wildlife, according to the commission. Those cases are being tried in Haywood County. In February, state and federal officials announced arrests from a four-year undercover investigation in North Carolina and Georgia, and 10 defendants were convicted of federal charges this month in U.S. District Court.

Rescheduled: A weekend forecast of bad weather has prompted the Carteret Community College Foundation to reschedule the sixth annual Spanish Mackerel and Dolphin Fishing Tournament to July 26-27 at The Boathouse in Beaufort. Contact Wes Daniels at 252-222-6222, or check http://carteretsmt.com/.

Cedar Island ramp renovated: Carteret County’s busy Cedar Island Boating Access Area on the Pamlico Sound has been renovated to make it accessible to boaters with disabilities. The site has two new boat ramps and fixed docks, plus one new floating dock and parking improvements. Learn more at www.ncwildlife.org/boating.

Meeting canceled: The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission has canceled a meeting scheduled for Friday in Atlantic Beach on a petition seeking a rule that would designate internal coastal waters permanent secondary nursery areas. Such a rule would effectively prohibit trawling in internal coastal waters. Commission Chairman Rob Bizzell instead wants the Finfish, Shellfish/Crustacean, Habitat and Water Quality and Sea Turtle advisory committees to review the petition before a commission vote. Meeting schedules will be announced.

Learn more at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/june-2013-mfc-briefing-book.

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