Pagosa outfitter receives penalties for permit abuses

Archuleta County man illegally packed hunters in Allen Park area in late 2010

A Pagosa Springs outfitter has been sentenced for providing commercial services on federal lands without a special-use permit.

Archuleta County resident Arthur Hank Anstine of Wolf Creek Outfitters held a special-use permit to provide commercial hunting and trail-riding services in the Pagosa Ranger District from 2002 until 2010 when his permit was terminated for arrears in payments, according to a San Juan National Forest news release.

In late 2010, U.S. Forest Service employees documented that Anstine had illegally packed hunters in the Allen Park area of the San Juan National Forest. Anstine later provided the Forest Service with a false contract allegedly signed by him and four out-of-state hunters on a document with the company name of a different, legally permitted outfitter, the release said.

He was indicted by a federal grand jury in March 2012 and charged with a felony for providing a false document to the Forest Service, but he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of providing an unauthorized service on federal lands in a plea agreement.

Anstine was sentenced Dec. 11 in U.S. District Court to three years of unsupervised probation, during which he is prohibited from entering the National Forest Systemís land in Colorado. He also was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine, $2,000 of which will be suspended after he successfully completes the probationary period.