MULTI-AGENCY OPERATION SOMETHING BRUIN DOCUMENTS SCORES OF VIOLATIONS
(Feb. 20, 2013)
– State and federal wildlife officials in North Carolina and Georgia announced today an undercover operation that involved about 80 wildlife violators and some 980 violations.
Primary violations documented by Operation Something Bruin stem from illegal bear hunting but include an array of state wildlife and game law charges. Some suspects could also face federal 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.
SEE MEDIA NOTE FOR QUOTE INSERTION OPTIONS.
Officers with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission infiltrated poaching circles to document violations including bear baiting; illegal take of bears, deer and other wildlife; illegal use of dogs; operation of illegal bear enclosures in North Carolina; and, guiding hunts on national forest lands without the required permits.
Operation Something Bruin partners also included the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service.
Officers began making arrests Feb. 19. Totals given for violators and violations are approximate.
This investigation helps safeguard wildlife by making poachers pay now, and making would-be violators think twice before breaking laws that conserve natural resources.
Additionally, the partnerships established through Operation Something Bruin help extend wildlife conservation efforts across multiple law enforcement and wildlife management jurisdictions. Learn more at www.operationsomethingbruin.org.
Fewer than 10 percent of all wildlife crimes are reported. Help change that trend and help protect wildlife. When you see or hear of a possible violation, call:
- In North Carolina, 1-800-662-7137
- In Georgia, 1-800-241-4113
MEDIA NOTE: The following quotes are for publication consideration and insertion on page 1 of this news release:
“Operation Something Bruin documented hundreds of wildlife violations. Today’s arrests bring an immediate halt to those crimes and, we hope, will make would-be violators think twice before breaking the law. Our long-term goal is to deter illegal wildlife activities from taking place in the future and serve notice to everyone that wildlife officers are ever vigilant in the service of conservation and public safety.”
Col. Dale Caveny, law enforcement chief for the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission
“Operation Something Bruin reinforces the need for the public to assist with our agencies’ mission of conserving wildlife. Conservation officers cannot be everywhere. The public can be a great asset by reporting poaching and suspicious activity through their state’s toll-free report-a-violation line. Wildlife belongs to everyone. Reporting poaching helps us protect something the public owns.”
Col. Eddie Henderson, law enforcement chief for the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division
“We take very seriously our duty to investigate the unlawful take of wildlife, and we regularly partner with our state and federal conservation law enforcement agencies to coordinate and share assets and information to accomplish that mission in the most effective way possible. We also want to thank our fellow law enforcement agents and officers who have worked so diligently over the past four years to counter the illegal poaching of black bears, and we are hopeful that this makes a long-term impact that results in increased protection of the black bear.”
Luis Santiago, special agent in charge for the Southeast Region,
Office of Law Enforcement, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
"It was natural for us to participate in this operation, because we have a long history of cooperation with state wildlife agencies to protect game lands and management areas. Because we already have these existing collaborative relationships, we were able to move seamlessly into this joint undercover operation, and keep it going for the necessary time frames. We were all able to care for the land, its resources and serve the public. This was a win-win for everyone involved – except, of course, for the bad guys.”
Steven F. Ruppert, special agent in charge, Southern Region, U.S. Forest Service
"We have learned that conserving black bears and other wildlife resources requires us to protect them across their range. This operation is a testament to the success that is achieved when neighboring state and federal conservation agencies come together to ensure that our wildlife heritage is conserved for future generations to enjoy."
Clayton Jordan, chief ranger, Great Smoky Mountains National Park