The poison used to bait a deer carcass that caused the death of a wolf and a dog in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness last fall was Compound 1080, a substance considered very dangerous in the environment and whose use has been restricted to collars placed on sheep.
Tim Clemens, a resident of Hines, Ore., entered a guilty plea Oct. 4 to one count of poisoning animals and one count of unlawful take of big game.
Idaho Department of Fish and Game spokesman Mike Keckler said the veterinarian who treated two dogs poisoned (one of which survived) sent a sample of the poison to an out-of-state lab, which determined that it was sodium fluoroacetate, or Compound 1080. Keckler said the vet notified Fish and Game of the use of the poison.
The substance was banned for predator control in 1972, though use of livestock protection collars was reinstated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1985. The federal Wildlife Services is the only entity authorized to distribute the collars. However, people who had obtained the poison before 1972 were not required to destroy or relinquish it.
Keckler said Fish and Game did not investigate where Clemens got the Compound 1080.
“The case is closed in our book,” he said.
The EPA has authorized the Idaho Department of Agriculture as the agency responsible for enforcing federal pesticide regulations in the state. Bob Spencer, bureau chief of the department’s Agriculture Resources Division, said Wednesday that the department had not been notified of Clemens’ use of Compound 1080.
State law prohibits the use of any pesticide by anyone not authorized to use it, and prohibits supplying the poison to anyone intending to use it illegally. Violations are punishable by a jail sentence of three months to a year and a fine of $100 to $1,000.
Clemens was sentenced in Fourth District Court to 10 days in jail, 200 hours of community service and four years of probation, during which time he cannot hunt. The court also ordered him to pay $675 in fines, court costs and community service insurance, $400 in civil damages for the big game animal killed and $10,000 in restitution to Idaho Fish and Game for investigative costs.
Spencer said the Department of Agriculture is not likely to pursue the case further since Clemens has already been convicted on the two fish and game violations.
He said Wildlife Services is required to report each use of the livestock protection collars to the Department of Agriculture, and the last reported use was in 2005.
Spencer said the department conducts a pesticide disposal program, under which it makes stops in different areas of the state each May and September to collect unwanted pesticides.
“We’ll take control of those and dispose of them properly,” he said.