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Poaching Suspects Charged in Yosemite National Park

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Date: August 25, 2009

After an extensive investigation, three individuals face multiple federal charges for poaching within Yosemite National Park.  Over the past several years, Southern California residents Chad Gierlich, Chris Gierlich, and Kyle Narasky have allegedly poached multiple trophy-sized deer within the park boundaries.  The investigation uncovered a complex, concerted effort by these individuals to illegally hunt within the park and kill trophy size bucks.  Search warrants resulted in the seizure of items such as bows and arrows, GIS devices, mounted kills, and several items that lead to the charges being filed.  

This interagency investigation was conducted by Yosemite National Park Rangers, Pacific West Region Special Agents, and California Department of Fish and Game Wardens.  Multiple federal charges regarding the illegal hunting have been filed which fall under the Lacey Act and Title 36 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations).  In addition to poaching within the park, state charges have been filed alleging that illegal hunting activity occurred on land under the jurisdiction of the California Department of Fish and Game.   

“This is the most egregious case of illegal hunting we have uncovered here in Yosemite National Park.  Wildlife in Yosemite is as important as Half Dome or Yosemite Falls.  We take this activity very seriously and will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute anybody found to be partaking in this activity.  This is a very serious offense and we want to send a clear message that we will not tolerate illegal hunting in Yosemite National Park,” stated Yosemite Chief Ranger Steve Shackelton.

The defendants are scheduled to appear in Federal Court in the next few weeks.  

Did You Know?

Riparian area in Tuolumne Meadows

Riparian communities are adjacent to the river channel and tributaries; they are the interface between the river and surrounding meadow and upland communities. They provide specialized habitat and important nutrients to the meadow and river systems.