Briefs for Dec. 26

BLM board names new members

The Bureau of Land Management has announced the appointment of new members to the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board.

New to the board is Melissa Scott, of Decatur, Tenn., a teacher, trainer and competitor in the horse community and an adopter of a wild horse, who will serve as a public interest representative on the board.

Reappointed members include Gary Zakotnic, of Eden, Wyo., a rancher who is the board's livestock management representative, Larry Johnson of Reno, Nev., president of the coalition for Nevada's Wildlife, serving as the board's wildlife management representative, and Richard Sewing, of Cedar City, Utah, manager of the National Mustang Association ranch, serving as the humane advocacy representative.

The nine-member board advises the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service on the management, protection and control of wild horses and burros that roam Western public rangeland.

Board members serve a three-year term on a staggered basis, meeting at least two times a year.

The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 mandates the management of horses and burros in a manner that insures healthy herds consistent with the land's capacity to support them.

About 31,000 wild horses and burros roam BLM-managed rangeland in 10 Western states.

Craig wildlife

team forming

The Colorado Division of Wildlife is accepting applications from volunteers interested in helping establish a Wildlife Rescue Team in the Craig area.

Team members respond to injured, orphaned, sick and nuisance wildlife calls from the public, and also provide educational information to neighborhoods that are experiencing wildlife conflicts.

Wildlife Rescue Teams also provide injured or sick animals with transportation to veterinarians or wildlife rehabilitators.

Applicants must be 18 years of age or older and must possess safe, reliable transportation. A flexible schedule is important because calls can occur at any time, and the DOW will provide training on animal capture and wildlife policies.

Deadline for applications is Jan. 31 and interviews are scheduled for Feb. 15 in Craig.

To apply or to have questions answered call Linda Edwards at (970) 255-6145 or linda.edwards@state.co.us.

Gas worker charged

in poaching case

A 36-year-old natural gas worker has been charged with illegally killing a trophy buck deer north of Parachute on Thanksgiving Day.

Colorado Division of Wildlife officers arrested Joseph L. Chapman of Provo, Utah, as part of an ongoing enforcement effort to reduce poaching incidents in the expanding gas fields of western Colorado.

On Dec. 6, Chapman was arrested and transported to the Garfield County Jail on the following charges:

  • Willful destruction of wildlife, which is a class 5 felony. If convicted, penalties can include one to three years in prison, $1,000 to $100,000 in fines, and hunting and fishing license suspension of one year to lifetime in Colorado and 23 other states.
  • Hunting out of season, which is a misdemeanor. If convicted, penalties can include a $592 fine and 15 license suspension points.
  • Illegal possession of wildlife, which is a misdemeanor. Penalties can include a $700 fine and 15 points.
  • "Samson Surcharge," which carries a $10,000 fine.
  • Transportation and exportation of wildlife. Penalties can include a $50 fine.

Officers with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources assisted with the investigation.

Anyone who witnesses illegal activities is urged to contact the local DOW office, call Operation Game Thief toll free at (877) COLO-OGT, or dial 9-1-1.

Man cited for careless driving in bus crash

Michael Johnson, 19, of California has been cited with five counts of careless driving for allegedly causing a crash that resulted in a Meeker school bus rolling over and six people sent to The Memorial Hospital on Dec. 17.

The school bus carrying members of Meeker High School's boys basketball team rolled over on Highway 13 north of Colowyo on Dec. 16 when the other car hit them head on.

Johnson had to be extricated from the vehicle, and was cited the next day, Colorado Trooper Melissa Remner said.

Johnson and a passenger were on their way to Steamboat Springs for vacation.

Johnson's passenger and four people on the bus also were sent to the hospital.

No serious injuries were reported.

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