Field reports: Montana rancher fined for chasing grizzly

SATURDAY, AUG. 6, 2016, 5:15 P.M.

PROTECTED SPECIES – A Montana ranch hand has been fined after posting a video of a grizzly bear being chased by a truck on social media.

The Helena Independent Record reports that Lawrence Kennedy of Browning was fined $400 with a $25 processing fee after reaching a plea agreement with federal …

PROTECTED SPECIES – A Montana ranch hand has been fined after posting a video of a grizzly bear being chased by a truck on social media.

The Helena Independent Record reports that Lawrence Kennedy of Browning was fined $400 with a $25 processing fee after reaching a plea agreement with federal prosecutors.

Kennedy initially pleaded not guilty to violating the Endangered Species Act but entered the new plea agreement July 5. He is charged with unlawfully harassing a threatened species.

Federal officials investigated Kennedy after he posted a video to Facebook in March showing him driving a pickup truck as a bear ran across a Browning-area ranch.

Kennedy told the Independent Record in March that he was chasing the bear to keep it away from a herd of cows that were calving.

Penalties for harassing or killing protected species vary widely and perhaps can be influenced locally. For example:

A Whitman County farmer was fined $100 for using a pickup to chase a wolf before shooting an killing it in a field in 2014. The wolf, listed as a state endangered species, had not posed a threat to people or property.

A Spokane man this year was ordered to pay $5,000 restitution and given a prison sentence for illegally killing a grizzly bear near a campground.

image0031

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s