Man fined $34K for building in bird reserve

A man who built a professional-grade volleyball court on federal land set aside to protect an endangered bird in northern Michigan was ordered to pay $34,000 and sentenced to a year's probation, federal prosecutors said.
AP Wire
Nov 14, 2012


William R. Colston of Chesaning and his family have encroached for decades on federal land adjoining their Roscommon County vacation home and ignored repeated warnings from the government, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said.

The affected area is part of the Kirtland's Warbler Wildlife Management Area, about 55 miles southeast of Traverse City. The endangered Kirtland's warbler is a small, ground-nesting bird, and the males are known for their bright yellow chests.

McQuade said natural resources are Michigan's "greatest asset. We have an obligation to preserve our lakes, air and lands for future generations, and for the native wildlife that lives there."

Colston's lawyer, James F. Piazza, said there was "nothing malicious" in his client's conduct. Piazza said Colston had been trying to negotiate with federal officials to lease or buy the parcel of land when the charges were filed.



The nerve of this man to build (gasp) a tennis court on that land.. Forget $34,000 and a year's probation.. lets make an example of him and force him to stand at the entrance of the federal land with a sign on him so the world can shame him. (that's sarcasm people). We are over the top!

your mother

the land was protected because it is habitat for kirtlands warbler! there are only a couple thousand of them left and they only breed in very specific conditions, IN MICHIGAN! the only thing over the top is your ignorance.


You really don't see anything wrong in what he did? If it were up to me he'd pay the fine, do the time, tear up the volleyball court and return the land to it's natural state. In case you haven't heard we're a ways past the days of homesteading and squatting on federal land. The arrogance of wealthy people continues to astound me almost every passing day.


You can read the whole story here...

Build it first, then negotiate. I guess if you squat on Federal land, it's yours!? Standing with a sign would be a good idea actually.


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