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1. PRINCIPAL DEFENDANT: Individual Defendant
D.  Idaho  2009R000445
2. DEFENDANT: Diamond D Ranch
D.  Idaho  2009R000445
3. DEFENDANT: Thomas Demorest
D.  Idaho  2009R000445

In September 2009 the U.S. Forest Service - Rocky Mountain Research Station notified CID and the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)-Office of Law Enforcement that it had observed what it believed to be an unpermitted dam and a barrier to fish passage in the Loon Creek drainage in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, rural Custer County, Idaho, during a salmon redd survey. Allegations indicated that the Diamond D Ranch had constructed an unpermited dam routed in Loon Creek that routed the creek into a recreational pond at the Diamond D Ranch, a 275-acre private in-holding that operates as a seasonal guest ranch and outfitting busines Thomas Demorest was the majority owner and operator of the ranch at the time. The investigation determined that the Ranch knowingly violated the Clean Water Act when it constructed dams and jettys in Loon Creek in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 without permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

October 25, 2011
Demorest entered a guilty plea to an Information charging him with violating the Endangered Species Act {16 U.S.C. 1538(a)(1)(G), 1540(b)(1) - knowing violation} and was sentenced to 24 months probation, ordered to pay a $625 fine and he was also ordered to perform 50 hours of community service. As a condition of his probation, he was sentenced to not participate as a member of the Board of Directors for the Diamond D Ranch.

Press Release
Department of Justice
October 26, 2011

Stanley Man Gets Probation for Threatened Species Violation

POCATELLO – Thomas Demorest, 73, of Stanley and Boise, Idaho, pled guilty and was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Pocatello for knowingly violating a regulation pertaining to a threatened species of fish, a misdemeanor, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald E. Bush sentenced Demorest to two years probation, a $625 fine, a condition of probation that he hold no management position at Diamond D Ranch, and fifty hours of community service at a fish hatchery. The Diamond D Ranch is located forty-two miles north of Stanley, Idaho, in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness area. Demorest was charged in a one-count information filed on September 20, 2011.

According to the plea agreement, Demorest admitted that in the summer and fall of 2009, he operated Mayfield Creek and Trail Creek irrigation diversions without fish screens and without a permit from the Department of the Interior or the Department of Commerce authorizing the taking of threatened species of Chinook salmon and bull trout. On October 8, 2009, a U.S. Forest Service Fisheries biologist found thirty-five Chinook salmon and five bull trout trapped in the irrigation ditch behind the closed headgate to the Mayfield diversion. Chinook salmon and bull trout are listed as threatened species under 50 C.F.R. § 223.102(c)(22) and 50 C.F.R. § 17.44.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

CITATION: 33 U.S.C. 1319(c)(1)(A)
December 6, 2011
The Individual Defendant and Diamond D Ranch were each charged with one count of violating the CWA {33 U.S.C. 1311(c)(1)(A)}.

Diamond D entered a pretrial Diversion Agreement where they will serve 48 months probation.

December 19, 2011
The individual defendant and the ranch entered a pretrial diversion agreement and were sentences as follows:
  • Individual Defendant
    • 60 months probation
  • Diamond D Ranch
    • 60 months probation
to 48 months probation.

  • Clean Water Act (CWA)
  • Other Federal Statutes (Other)

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