The Mountain Times

°F Sun, April 20, 2014

Central Vermont's Most Popular Weekly Newspaper

Two men charged for mining on state wildlife area

Two men, one from Vermont the other from New York, made a costly mistake in August by mining quartz on a state Wildlife Management Area.

On August 26, Vermont State Game Wardens Robert Sterling and Justin Stedman found Robert J. LaPorte of Shaftsbury, Vt. and Philip G. Yerke of Waterford, NY digging and extracting quartz crystal rock material from an area on Bird Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in the towns of  Ira, Castleton and Poultney.

The 770-acre WMA was purchased in 1976 with funding from the sale of hunting licenses and federal taxes on hunting equipment. It is managed by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department as public hunting land and for its unique wildlife habitat qualities, including a cliff section on Birdseye Mountain that is used by nesting peregrine falcons.

LaPorte and Yerke were charged with willful and careless destruction of state property under 10 V.S.A. Section 4517. Each man is subject to a fine of $2,500 and loss of their licenses to hunt, fish or trap in Vermont for one year.