Agents with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries arrested a Hessmer man on Friday in connection with the downing of trees on Spring Bayou Wildlife Management Area in Avoyelles Parish.
An anonymous tip and subsequent investigation led agents to Rick K. Savoy, 48, who was cited for criminal damage to state property, operating an ATV off of a WMA ATV trail, not complying with WMA self-clearing permit regulations and interference with navigation.
Savoy was allegedly involved in downing up to 100 trees on the WMA last December. According to a press release, agents believe the trees were cut in an area known as the Bean Field in the northwest corner of the WMA to keep other hunters out of the area.
The trees included cypress, oaks and willows, and ranged from 10- to 30-inches in diameter.
Savoy was booked into the Avoyelles Parish Jail in Marksville, according to the release.
The penalty for cutting down trees on a WMA is criminal damage of state property and brings up to a $10,000 fine and up to 10 years in jail. There may also be a civil restitution charge for the replacement value of the trees and cleanup required, the release states.
Operating an ATV off of a WMA ATV trail and failing to comply with self-clearing permit regulations each brings a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail. Interference with navigation carries a $50 fine and to 15 days in jail, according to the release.