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Rep. Young Questions Parks Director Over Abuse Of Power On Yukon River

Washington, DC - Alaskan Congressman Don Young was a vocal participant in this morning's Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands oversight hearing entitled "Examining the spending, priorities and the mission of the National Park Service and the President's FY 2012 Budget Proposal."  Congressman Young took this as an opportunity to hold National Park Service (NPS) Director Jon Jarvis' feet to the fire regarding the egregious abuse of power displayed by NPS employees last summer in dealing with boaters in the Yukon Charley Rivers Preserve.

To view video from this morning's hearing, click here and here.

In September, Jim Wilde was traveling on the Yukon River within the Yukon Charley Rivers Preserve, when two Park rangers approached his boat and demanded to conduct a safety check.

Wilde believed it unsafe for the rangers to board a boat floating in the middle of the river, and shouted at the rangers that they should all head towards the riverbank.  In response, a shotgun was trained on Wilde, his wife, and their 65 year old friend, as he headed to shore.  

Just after setting anchor, the rangers threw him to the ground and arrested him.  They brought him to Circle and then flew him to Fairbanks, where he was placed in jail for four days.  Wilde was charged with four misdemeanors, each punishable by six months in jail and/ or a $5,000 fine.  Wilde is scheduled to go to trial in April.

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