Craig Staloch, Minnesota farmer, charged in pelican massacre

Categories: Animals
american white pelican.jpg
Wikipedia
The American White Pelican is not endangered -- unless it's on Craig Staloch's land.
Craig Staloch had a bird problem. Now he has a legal problem.

Staloch's facing a single misdemeanor charge of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for his bird massacre, which left a flock-full of American White Pelican chicks and eggs destroyed.

Staloch was renting farmland in Minnesota Lake, near the Iowa border. His particular piece of land had become home to thousands of pelicans, which the DNR valued, and Staloch apparently did not.

Staloch called the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to ask what his "options" were, regarding the pelicans. After he got off the phone, Staloch took the one option he was told was not allowed, and tried to destroy them all.

For his killing spree, Staloch could get up to six months in prison or pay a $15,000 fine.

On May  17, a DNR specialist came to Staloch's land, a known pelican hangout, and surveyed the bird population, finding "a large number of adult pelicans, many of which were sitting on nests," according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court on Wednesday.

american white pelican 2.jpg
Wikipedia
Despite their big beaks, pelicans are not actually a threat to humans.
Later that day, Staloch called the DNR and asked what about his "options" for the birds, and was told that the pelicans, as migratory birds, were protected and it would be against the law to harrass or harm them in any way. It's unclear whether Staloch had already done his damage, or knowingly disregarded this information, but when the DNR returned the next day they saw  Staloch's alleged crime scene.

The adult pelicans seen the day before were nowhere to be found. It got worse: When the researchers inspected nests, they found eggs that looked like they'd been "crushed by a heavy stick or a forceful object," and chicks that had died of exposure.

The researchers counted 1,458 nests, most of them with two eggs, and said that more than 70 percent of them had been destroyed.

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15 comments
Dothe442
Dothe442

This guy has received over $600,000 in farm subsidies in the last 15 years.  Death is too good for him.  I think tying to a rock and having pelicans rip out his intestines daily for the next 1000 years is an apt punishment.

David Foureyes
David Foureyes

I only landed on this story because I googled "pelican massacre".

It was for a scavenger hunt.

Mac
Mac

What a terrible person to do this to a protected species.  It isn't even his land in the first place.  

E K
E K

Keep bird abortion safe and legal!

Spencer
Spencer

Weird, another person with nothing better to do.

Endevor27
Endevor27

Shame on you for characterizing this person as "terrible" for an act he did.  The act may be bad but it doesnt meen the person is bad.  Seems like he made a bad judgement call, but could be a great person?!?! 

Chuck Cleveland
Chuck Cleveland

"...could be a great person?" "bad judgement call?" Or as his lawyer says: it was all a "horrible mistake." Endevor, what kind of moron are you to serve as an apologist for this dickwad's premeditated criminal act. I hope they throw the book at him, though a maximum of six months in jail and a $15,000. fine seem awfully light in view of the fact he managed to virtually wipe out an entire colony of these beautiful birds. I happen to live on Pelican Lake, the one north of Brainerd. And even though I've been going there the last 53 years, I've never once even seen a pelican there. It's misanthropic fools like Craig Staloch that make it likely I never will. And you should get your head examined for making such idiotic comments that seemingly try to separate this A-hole's criminal acts from his own person. To stretch the point, it's like Hitler wasn't such a bad guy, only that he did some bad things... Fool!

David Foureyes
David Foureyes

Bad people do bad things. 

My mom also seems to be under the same assumption, like when she hates the "gay" in her hairdresser but doesn't "hate him". No mom, you hate him...he knows it, he's been making your hair look terrible for years.

green23
green23

"Bad judgement"? He checked with the DNR to find out if what he wanted to do was legal, found out in no uncertain terms that it wasn't, and then went ahead and did it.

It was a willful and deliberate violation of the law. And, as Mac pointed out, it wasn't even his property. The owner was obviously okay with the birds being there, or there wouldn't have been over a thousand nests on the land.

The only real question left is why this guy would rent land that required a crime to be committed to make it suitable for his "uses". Did he even look at the land before he rented it?

Clipper88
Clipper88

Endevor27, No "good person" would leave baby chicks exposed to die.  He was a nut job.

Spencer
Spencer

Wow, you really need a hobby. Also, I hope the pelican's show up on your lake. Nest in your yard and crap all over your house. You sir are a D-bag. Plain and simple.

Spencer
Spencer

Let me clarify something for "cities" people that don't really understand anything about farming. The "owner" of the land doesn't actually live on that land. In this case....the owner doesn't live anywhere near the land. 

Also, lets pass judgement without knowing any of the facts. In most cases like this one.  The farmer that is renting the land has often rented that land for years and it hasn't been a problem in the past.  Also, In some cases they have contracts for years in advance to prevent a rent increase.

As the sayings goes.....opinions are like a**holes. Everyone has one.

Lokkengj
Lokkengj

This was probably  seven acres out of a rented 240 acre, 160 acrea parcle.  You can't only rent certain acres and not that part of the land. 

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