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Wallowa County District Attorney Receives "2008 Wildlife Prosecutor of the Year" Award
08/21/2009
Captain Walt Markee
OSP Fish and Wildlife Division
Office: (503) 934-0221

The Wallowa County District Attorney was selected recently to receive the second presentation of an award to a prosecutor in Oregon for their support, hard work, dedication, and prosecution of those who violate the State's fish and wildlife laws. Sponsored by the Oregon Sportsmen's Coalition, the award was presented July 31, 2009, by Oregon State Police (OSP) and Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) at the Oregon District Attorney's Association (ODAA) 2009 Summer Conference in Bend.
OSP Captain Markee, D.A. Mona Williams, ODFA Director Roy Elicker 

The Oregon Sportsmen's Coalition, which consists of numerous volunteer outdoor enthusiast groups opposed to the unlawful and unethical taking of wildlife, sponsored the "2008 Wildlife Prosecutor of the Year" award in partnership with the OSP Fish and Wildlife Division. Nominations received from OSP Fish and Wildlife troopers around the state and forwarded to and reviewed by coalition groups before the selection and presentation of the award.

 
Captain Walt Markee, OSP Fish and Wildlife Division Director, and ODFW Director Roy Elicker, presented the award on behalf of the Sportsmen's Coalition to Wallowa County District Attorney Mona K. Williams in front of her peers at the ODAA conference.

 
"Ms. Williams is an advocate for Oregon's fish, wildlife, and natural resources, beneficially serving the public through her dedication and persistence in prosecuting those who disobey state laws," said Markee. "We sincerely appreciate the coalition's sponsorship of this award and acknowledging the state's prosecutors who work diligently to bring those to justice who blatantly disregard our laws."
 
OSP nominations from those who work with the Wallowa County District Attorney's Office praised Ms. Williams for her work.
 
"Mona K. Williams has worked tirelessly for the citizens of this county since taking office in 2007," said OSP Senior Trooper Mark Knapp. "She has vigorously prosecuted cases ranging from homicides and sex abuse to domestic violence and assaults while working as the sole prosecutor for the county. In addition to prosecuting those crimes, Ms. Williams has prosecuted fish and wildlife crimes with the same passion that she has for the other major crimes. Whether the fish and wildlife crime involved the use of DNA and ballistic forensics or new case law, she has never shown any shyness for the courtroom or litigation if the case warranted full prosecution."
 
Listed are some cases recently prosecuted by Ms. Williams:
 
* An elk case in which the defendant shot an elk on private property. This case involved complicated tribal law as well as state law. This case went to trial where the defendant was found guilty. He was sentenced to two years probation, 40 hours of community service, and $1,820 in fines and restitution.
* The case of a Portland hunter who shot three bull elk in the Snake River Unit. He wasted two of the elk, yet he managed to retrieve the heads of all three. This case never went to trial, as Ms. Williams was able to successfully argue the case at a suppression hearing. In addition to two elk heads being seized, the defendant was subsequently sentenced to two years probation, 40 hours of community service, two years suspension of hunting privileges, and $2,083 in fines and restitution.
* A Portland area hunter was successfully prosecuted who had shot two big horn sheep in the Snake River Unit (the defendant had a valid tag for one sheep). The defendant was subsequently sentenced to 40 hours of community service, two years suspension of hunting privileges, and $6,800 in fines and restitution.
* A case involving a local resident for felon in possession of a firearm. This resident, a repeat offender and game violator, was sentenced to 14 months in prison, two years post-prison supervision, and fines.
* A local rancher was prosecuted for selling Landowner Preference tags. The rancher claimed his hunters were family members in order to get bull elk tags and buck deer tags. This rancher, a repeat game violator, pled guilty to two misdemeanor charges of False Application for Landowner Preference Tags. In his plea agreement, the defendant was sentenced to two years probation, 80 hours community service, three years suspension of hunting privileges, and $1,016 in fines and restitution.
* A current case is being prosecuted in which DNA and ballistic forensics were used to link two Portland-area hunters to an extra, illegally taken bull elk in the Chesnimnus Unit. The defendants have been charged with two felony counts of Criminal Mischief in the First Degree and Theft in the First Degree, as well as numerous misdemeanor game charges.
 
"Ms. Williams has always made herself available to answer questions and discuss pending investigations with the local Fish and Wildlife troopers despite her busy schedule," said Knapp. "She has accompanied the local troopers on several ride-along patrols in order to better understand the lay-out of the fish and wildlife crime in which she is prosecuting."
 
During the presentation, Captain Markee and Roy Elicker presented Williams with a wildlife print by artist Frank Miller acknowledging the Coalition's appreciation for her professional achievement in this area.

 
The Oregon Sportsmen's Coalition is comprised of numerous volunteer groups including:
* Oregon Hunters Association
* Oregon Federation for North American Wild Sheep
* Izaak Walton League
* Oregon Duck Hunters
* Oregon Mule Deer Foundation
* Oregon State Shooting Association
* Safari Club International
* Oregon Falconers Association
* National Wild Turkey Federation
* National Rifle Association
* Oregon Guides and Packers
* Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
* Oregon Bow Hunters
* Traditional Archers of Oregon
* Oregon Association of Shooting Ranges
 
The primary responsibility of the OSP Fish and Wildlife Division is enforcement of fish, wildlife, and commercial fishing laws and protection of natural resources. The members of the Fish and Wildlife Division also enforce traffic, criminal, boating, livestock, and environmental protection laws, in addition to responding to emergency situations.