Friday, February 22, 2013

Undercover Wildlife Poaching Operation also targets violators in the Smokies

Yesterday I posted an article about Operation Something Bruin, an undercover wildlife poaching operation that has targeted about 80 wildlife violators, and some 980 violations over the last four years. The US Forest Service press release stated that the operation involved wildlife officials in North Carolina and Georgia.

Today we learned from NPS Digest that the operation also took place in the Great Smoky Mountains, and may involve other states adjacent to NC and GA.

State and federal wildlife officials in North Carolina and Georgia have announced an undercover operation that involved about 80 wildlife violators and some 980 violations. Some of these offenses occurred within the park’s boundaries and the investigation may lead to the filing of federal charges in coming weeks.

Primary violations documented by Operation Something Bruin stem from illegal bear hunting, but include an array of state wildlife and game law charges. The four-year investigation, the largest of its kind in recent years, targeted poachers in North Carolina and Georgia, with work in some adjacent states. Officers with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission infiltrated poaching circles to document violations, that included bear baiting, the illegal taking of bears, deer and other wildlife, the illegal use of dogs, the illegal operation of bear pens in North Carolina, and guiding hunts on national forest lands without the required permits.

Participation in the operation were officers and rangers from the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service.

You can learn more about Operation Something Bruin by clicking here.

Hiking in the Smokies

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