Juneau man lowers damages sought from hiker who sprung his traps

A Juneau trapper has lowered the amount of damages he’s seeking in a lawsuit against a hiker who sprang his traps last December. John Forrest sued Kathleen Turley in September. The case will appears in small claims court in Juneau Monday morning at 9.

Forrest originally sued for $5,000 in damages and the cost of attorney fees. On Oct. 1, the damages sought were lowered to $1,000.

Kathleen Turley encountered this eagle stuck in two traps Dec. 24, 2014. She freed the eagle and tampered with other legally set traps in the area. She’s now being sued. (Photo courtesy Kathleen Turley)
Kathleen Turley encountered this eagle stuck in two traps Dec. 24, 2014. She freed the eagle and tampered with other legally set traps in the area. She’s now being sued. (Photo courtesy Kathleen Turley)

Turley says she sprang three traps on two separate days out of concern for the safety of dogs and hikers. She also freed an eagle that was caught in two traps. The eagle was later euthanized.

Alaska Wildlife Troopers cited Turley for tampering with traps that Forrest had legally set, not for freeing the eagle. But at the arraignment, the state dropped the case.

Forrest is being represented by Fairbanks attorney Zane Wilson. Wilson helped win a high profile case against a wildlife biologist who freed a wolf from a snare in Tok in 1997. On Monday, Wilson will represent Forrest by telephone.

Juneau lawyer Nick Polasky is representing Turley pro bono. Polasky is a former state assistant district attorney. He was the primary prosecutor for fish and game offenses in Ketchikan and Juneau.