Charges in bison protest
A Grand Valley man who chained himself to a cement-filled drum to protest the slaughter of bison in Yellowstone National Park rejected a plea bargain offer Tuesday that would have resolved a related criminal case.
Comfrey Jacobs, 20, was arrested March 6 and charged with disorderly conduct, breaking into the closed area around the park’s bison capture facility, and interfering with government operations.
Jacobs chained himself to the 50-gallon drum and blocked the road to the Stephens Creek corrals just outside of the park. The Buffalo Field Campaign advocacy group says Jacobs was attempting to stop the shipment of bison to slaughter.
Park officials looking to reduce the bison population in Yellowstone hold the animals in the corrals.
Spokesman Al Nash says 216 bison have been transferred from the park, including roughly 30 for an experimental contraception program and the rest for slaughter.
John Powell, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Cheyenne, Wyo., said Jacobs at the time of his arrest had identification indicating he’s from Palisade and told officers at the scene he’s from Grand Junction. During a first court appearance on Tuesday, Jacobs told a judge he now resides in West Yellowstone, Mont., according to Powell.
Powell said Jacobs on Tuesday, during arraignment, declined a plea bargain offer and is scheduled to return to court next month. He’s free on a personal-recognizance bond.
According to the Billings Gazette newspaper, the terms of the rejected plea offer would have required Jacobs to pay up to $1,000 in restitution, serve unsupervised probation up to five years and accept a five-year ban from Yellowstone National Park.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.