Central Audubon Society ups reward for info on wildlife viewing area fire

Thursday, August 4, 2005

The Audubon Society of Central Arkansas recently increased the reward for information about the arson fire that destroyed a wildlife-viewing area on the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's Dagmar Wildlife Management Area. The viewing bridge was burned to the ground in early June. The viewing area was an abandoned railroad trestle that was being renovated to accommodate bird watchers.

The bridge became a popular wildlife viewing spot after it was announced that the ivory-billed woodpecker had been found in the Bayou DeView area of eastern Arkansas.

Several scientists have seen at least one ivory-bill in the Bayou DeView area in 2004 and early 2005. These are the first confirmed sightings of the elusive bird in the world since 1944.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation is offering a $1,000 reward to anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved in the fire. Audubon has offered an additional $1,000 for information on the fire, according to ASCA Treasurer Barry Haas.

"Our hope is that increasing the reward fund may encourage someone who knows about the perpetrators to come forward and tell law enforcement what they know about this unfortunate incident," Haas said.

Anyone with information about the fire should call the AGFC in Brinkley at 870-734-4581 or toll-free 877-734-4581 and ask for the Enforcement Division. Another point of contact for furnishing information is the AGFC toll-free number at 800-482-9262. Request to speak to Lt. Stephanie Moudy, Maj. Chris Carpenter, Maj. Chuck Woodson or Col. John Day.

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