Volga Man Ordered to Restore Protected Wetlands of the United States
United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier sentenced a Volga, South Dakota man convicted of Disturbing Protected Wetlands of the United States. The sentencing took place on April 9, 2018.
Kevin Jay Mast, age 61, was sentenced to 1 year of probation, ordered to pay a $100 fine, and $10 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Mast was also ordered to comply with the restoration of the protected wetlands on his property.
Mast was indicted for Disturbing Protected Wetlands of the United States by a federal grand jury on September 6, 2017. He was found guilty by a jury of his peers on January 18, 2018.
In 1973, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service purchased an easement for waterfowl management rights. The easement prohibited the drainage of any wetland areas on the property. In 2010, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife notified Mast that his plan to install drain tile conflicted with the protected wetlands and was not authorized. Despite the warning, Mast installed the drain tile in the fall of 2013. The sentence imposed by the Court requires Mast to restore all six protected wetland areas on his property by August 1, 2018.
“The wetland areas of South Dakota provide crucial habitat for the reproduction of waterfowl, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office strictly enforces protection of these areas. Requiring the defendant to restore the affected wetlands sends an important message, that this type of blatant disregard for the law will not be tolerated,” said U.S. Attorney Parsons.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Clapper prosecuted the case.