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Karen Jettmar, a long time guide and director of Equinox Wilderness Adventures, has been indicted on conspiracy charges as well as removing a paleontological resource from federal land. The indictment stems from an incident that took place in June 2007 on a river trip to the Kokolik River. It was on that trip that Jettmar and an unnamed conspirator removed a mammoth tusk valued at $4,000 from the land, the conspirator took the tusk back to Pennsylvania.
Jettmar is a former National Park Service ranger. She has more than thirty years experience out in the field according to her web site.
During the federal investigation, emails were discovered that were written by Jettmar to the conspirator. In those emails, Jettmar told her un-named accomplice in 2008, that “she knew about a river in Alaska that contains many ‘bones, ivory, teeth, etc.,” and that they only need find a pilot who would transport “booty” out of the bush for them. In another email, she warned the conspirator that he didn’t want BLM to come after him.
In a separate incident in 2009, Jettmar found and removed another fossil from the Utukok River.
Jettmar is the author of the book, “The Alaska River Guide.” In that book, she included a section that detailed the regulations as to the taking of fossils from federal lands. Also with her years of work with the National Park Service, she would have been aware of the regulations banning the taking of fossils from federal land without a permit.
It is unknown at this time whether her conspirator has been charged with any crimes in connection with this case.