Pelican Killing Farmer Sentenced 28 Feb 12

A southern Minnesota farmer accused of killing hundreds of federally protected white pelican chicks has been sentenced to 2 years of probation. 59-year-old Craig Staloch of Minnesota Lake also was ordered to pay a fine of $12,500 in court on Monday, and complete 100 hours of community service related to wildlife preservation. Staloch pleaded guilty last November to one count of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, a federal misdemeanor. In his plea agreement, Staloch admitted he killed and attempted to kill a large number of American white pelicans. A state wildlife specialist who visited Staloch’s farmland last May had found numerous pelican nests and told Staloch not to disturb them. The specialist returned the next day and found most of the eggs in the nests smashed and countless chicks dead.