By Rikki King, Herald writer, http://www.heraldnet.com
GRANITE FALLS — Authorities still are asking for help finding the person responsible for the deaths of four bald eagles last month near Granite Falls.
A recent donation brought the reward money for information leading to an arrest and conviction up to $20,250, wildlife officials said Monday.
The last $6,500 was donated by The Campbell Group, a Portland, Ore.-based timber company that owns property near where the eagles were found Jan. 9, said Sgt. Jennifer Maurstad with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.
“We are shocked and offended by this crime, and support the efforts of state authorities to investigate and prosecute this case,” Campbell Group spokeswoman Liz Fuller said in an email Monday.
The eagles’ bodies were floating in a lake east of town. Investigators aren’t disclosing the exact location.
They believe the eagles, three of them grown and one a juvenile, were shot with a small-caliber rifle.
Investigators are waiting on forensic results, including possible ballistics, Maurstad said Monday.
They’ve gotten a few tips but nothing has panned out, she said.
“It’s just important to do the right thing,” Maurstad said. “This was such an egregious act, that if somebody has information, they shouldn’t hang onto it. They should do what’s right, and I’m hoping that $20,000 will give somebody the initiative to do so.”
Killing an eagle is a misdemeanor under federal law. It is also a state crime with a maximum penalty of $1,000 and 90 days in jail. Also, under state law, there’s a $2,000 fine per eagle.
There are about 850 nesting pairs of bald eagles in Washington.
Anyone with information should call 1-877-933-9847 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reward money also was donated by the Stillaguamish Tribe, state Fish and Wildlife, the Humane Society of the United States and Conservation Northwest.