Information needed in Flagstaff-area water catchment contamination
Posted September 20, 2019
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) is seeking information officers hope will lead to those responsible for contaminating a water catchment with diesel fuel or gasoline northeast of Flagstaff.
Sometime around Sept. 15, fuel was deliberately poured into Young’s Canyon Trick Tank, a water catchment in Game Management Unit 7E near U.S. Forest Service Road 775 and east of the high tension powerlines. The catchment is approximately 2 miles east of the Winona exit (211) along Interstate 40.
Evidence at the scene indicates the suspect(s) may have taken down fencing to gain access to and pour the fuel into the catchment.
“It’s our hope that someone may have observed suspicious behavior or may have had a game camera in the area that may provide crucial evidence,” said AZGFD Wildlife Manager Erin Brown. “This incident is incredibly disappointing because these catchments provide water for all wildlife when natural water sources are not available — especially given this year’s limited monsoon rainfall. Sportsmen, along with the department, have spent so much labor, money and time improving water availability for wildlife and it’s tragic that someone chose to vandalize this water catchment.”
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to call the AZGFD vandalism hotline at 1-800 VANDALS (826-3257). Callers can remain anonymous and should reference case #19-003149.
The Arizona Elk Society has offered a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to an arrest and conviction of those responsible.
The department maintains about 3,000 water catchments statewide, along with the help of many sportsmen’s groups, and has trucked or airlifted more than 1.5 million gallons of precious water since January 2018.
Those wishing to support the department’s efforts to deliver water for wildlife can send a donation by texting SENDWATER — as one word — to 41444 from any smart device or visit www.azwildlifehero.com and select “support us.”
To report a poaching violation call Operation Game Thief at 800-352-0700 or visit www.azgfd.com/OGT.