Western South Dakota's Only Ranch Station

Rancher pleads guilty in deaths of protected bald eagles

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – A South Dakota rancher has pleaded guilty to federal charges in the deaths of six protected bald eagles who were poisoned by some misapplied pesticide on his property.

Prosecutors say David Meyer, 58, supervised the misapplication of 39,000 pounds of the pesticide Rozol on 5,400 acres of land on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in 2016.

Court documents say more than a dozen workers told investigators they were supposed to put the poison into prairie dog holes but got sloppy and put it near the holes. Federal officials say six bald eagles died after ingesting the poison.

More ecords show that Meyer has agreed to pay $58,000 in restitution to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and pay a $50,000 fine. Prosecutors have agreed to recommend he be placed on probation. He will be sentenced on April 2.

An EPA emergency response team oversaw cleanup of the ranch, the Bismarck Tribune reported.

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