Updated: NPS Employee Sentenced For Guiding Moose Hunt in Denali National Park and Preserve

A National Park Service employee who runs a hunting guide business on the side has been fined $7,000 and placed on probation for conducting a moose hunt in Denali National Park and Preserve.

Annette M. Keith, who works as an administrative clerk in Denali, was placed on probation for three years and also lost her guiding privileges for three years and hunting privileges for two years, according to a release from the park. The Healy, Alaska, resident was sentenced by U.S. Magistrate Judge Scott Oravec last week after entering guilty pleas to three charges stemming from the moose hunt, which occurred in September 2007, park officials said.

The $7,000 fine was built on a $2,000 fine for illegal hunting in the park, a $2,000 fine for off-road vehicle travel, and a $3,000 fine for operating a business within the park without a permit, park officials said.

Park Service officials did not identify Ms. Keith as a park employee when they issued the news release, saying today that that "wasn't relevant to the hunting case." The woman, who was guiding during her annual leave from the park, remains on Denali's payroll, they said.

At the time of the crime, Ms. Keith was the co-owner of Healy-based Castle Rock Outfitters and a state-licensed assistant guide, the park's release said. She and her brother-in-law, William J. Keith, were guiding a client from Florida who paid $9,250 for a moose hunt, the officials said.

A Denali ranger conducting a joint aerial patrol with an Alaska Wildlife Trooper spotted the three more than two miles inside the park boundary north of 8 Mile Lake off the Stampede Road The hunters had illegally driven two ATV’s to within a quarter-mile of an unusual congregation of 26 moose, which were visible to them on the ground, according to park officials.

The ranger and trooper were patrolling in a helicopter, so they were able to land right next to the hunting party before the client had an opportunity to shoot a 60-inch bull that the party was targeting. A search warrant subsequently executed at the office/residence of Castle Rock Outfitters resulted in the seizure of additional evidence in the case. The client, who was unaware of the illegal nature of the hunt, cooperated fully with the investigation and was not charged.

According to Denali Chief Ranger Pete Armington, the park will continue joint operations with the Alaska Wildlife Troopers in certain areas. “By combining efforts and resources, both agencies can do a more effective job of enforcing hunting regulations both inside the park and on adjacent state lands," he said.

Comments

How many hunts did she and her brother-in-law illegally conduct at over $9000 each? While we don't know (and may never know) the answer to that, you could almost bet that this wasn't the first time they did something like this. So, to discourage others the fine and/or additional penalties should have been more severe. People like them give a black eye to all the guides and hunters who follow the rules and do things the right way.

My gosh is this woman really still working for the park? I don't care if you are a ranger or a trash truck driver this isn't what the NPS is about and if you don't understand that then you should never have took the job. What a disgrace to the Service. There aren't enough managers and lawyers in the Service to begin the process of her termination soon enough.

this lady should be fired period. how long has she been doing this???why did it take so long to process this deal?

I am a retired NPS employee and embarrassed to admit it. Not only did she make money on the deal but she is still working - where is the justice in that. What a message that sends to other NPS employees. She should be fired immediately.

I'm a state of Michigan employee. We have a clause in our civil-service contract called 'Conduct unbecoming'. If I took vacation time and robbed our office, I'd be fired. That's in effect whan this woman did. Can her.

only public sector employees can count their jobs secure after so blatantly betraying the mandate of their job...