Nevada Department of Wildlife Requests FBI Investigation of Native American Opponents of Nevada Bear Hunt
Following their appearance at the March Wildlife Commission meeting, where they stated their opposition to the bear hunt on religious grounds, Native Americans from various Paiute Tribes the Pyramid Lake Paiute Band were recently questioned by FBI and U.S. Marshalls. FBI Agent, George Chillito, an FBI agent with the Task Force on Counter-Terrorism in Reno, reportedly stated that he was investigating the Native Americans at the request of NDOW game wardens because the "game wardens" and the "audience felt threatened" by the presence of the Native Americans at the March Wildlife Commission meeting. Several Native Americans appeared at the Wildlife Commission meeting held on March 23rd and March 24th ("Meetings"), and at the Washoe County Advisory Board Meeting held on March 15th, to oppose the bear hunt, adopted in December 2010. Shortly after the Commission meeting, FBI agents and U.S. Federal Marshals began appearing at the homes and places of work of the Native Americans, and questioning them about why they opposed the bear hunt, and what were they going to do if the bear hunt continued, etc.
At the meetings, several Native Americans from various Paiute Tribes were present and spoke on the record in opposition to the Bear Hunt for religious reasons, stating that the black bear was a sacred animal to them, and that to kill one for sport was the same as burning a Bible would be to a Christian.
Shortly thereafter, during the period April 2-4, FBI agents visited and questioned two of the Native Americans who spoke at the open public meetings, by arriving at their homes and places of work. On April 2nd, up to six (6) FBI agents and Federal Marshals came to Lisa Bonta's home in Sparks, NV, stating that the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) "game wardens felt threatened" by her presence at the meetings, and specifically questioned why she was opposed to the Bear hunt, and what was she going to do if the bear hunt continued. Another Native American, Daniel Thayer, was visited by federal agents at his place of work on April 3rd, and was told that NDOW had requested an investigation because the "audience felt threatened" by his presence, and was similarly questioned. On April 4th, another Native American, Raquel Arthur, saw federal agents watching and surveilling her private residence.
When independently contacted, one NDOW staff member stated that he had no knowledge of any request by NDOW for the FBI to investigate Native American opponents of the Bear hunt.
This FBI intimidation comes on the heels of alleged racial slurs directed at the Native Americans when they spoke at the Washoe County Advisory Board held on March 15th.
Somebody probably called them "liberals".
The bear hunting law was recently modified and it is now illegal to hunt them on the east (Nevada) side of the Lake Tahoe Basin. Read "where the rich people live".
As soon as the bears cross the spine of the Carson Range, they're safe. I hope they can read the signs.