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Rewards increased for wildlife poaching

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By The Chronicle
The Omak-Okonogan County Chronicle

Mar 6 - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife expands its reward fund for apprehending wildlife poachers with contributions from Conservation Northwest.

BELLINGHAM - Conservation Northwest and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife are joining to expand its reward fund to help apprehend poachers.

The effort is intended to help state officers identify and investigate illegal killing of rare wildlife "and other extreme cases of big game and other wildlife killings," according to Conservation Northwest.

 The state provides up to $500 for information that helps resolve a felony wildlife case.

Contributions from Conservation Northwest and others increased the rewards to $7,500 for information leading to the conviction of anyone who has killed a gray wolf in the state, $5,000 for grizzly bear, wolverine, lynx or fisher killings, and $3,000 for "egregious violations" involving deer or elk, the group said.

 Conservation Northwest said there is "an indication" four or more wolves may have been killed from the Lookout Pack in the Methow Valley, and that a grizzly bear from the Selkirk Mountains was illegally killed several years ago.

"We in Washington do so much to protect our wildlife and their habitat as our natural heritage," Conservation Northwest Executive Director Mitch Friedman said. "It takes less than a second for a coward to wipe out that investment. Let's make sure the bad guys are held accountable."

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