The attorney for a southern Minnesota farmer accused of destroying thousands of protected pelican chicks and eggs says the defendant “flipped out” because the birds were damaging his land. Craig Staloch made his first appearance in federal court Thursday. His attorney told the court the American White pelicans cost the farmer $20,000 in expenses and lost revenue over the past three years. Staloch is accused of smashing more than 3,000 nests, eggs and chicks on farmland he rents on the shores of Minnesota Lake. Minnesota is the summer home to about 20,000 pairs of pelicans, more than any other state. The birds were once nearly extinct, but have made a comeback since the 1960s. Staloch’s trial has been scheduled to start November 28th.
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