Monday, September 21, 2009

Plant Theft in Our National Parks II

The following is taken from the National Park Service's Morning Report for Monday September 21, 2009.

Blue Ridge Parkway
Plant Poacher Sentenced In Court

On Friday, June 17th, rangers received a report that a man
had been seen taking a backpack out of the trunk of his
car, at which time the reporting party noted that the
trunk was full of live plants. Ranger Miranda Cook waited
for him to return to his car. When she contacted him,
she found that his pack was full of plants and digging
tools. Ranger Kathryn Brett assisted with the investigation
and interview. The two rangers determined that the man had
stolen several plants from six locations along the parkway
and that he planned to sell seeds from those plants
as part of his overseas
business. On September 17th,
he plead guilty in federal court and was ordered to
pay a significant fine and restitution. [Kurt Speers,
Ridge District Ranger]

This serves as another example of the problem faced in our National Parks of the theft of plants for an international market. More information on this growing problem will be found in the soon to be released book A Park Ranger's Life: True Stories from Thirty Two Years Protecting Our National Parks.

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