After nearly a year of legal wrangling, Charlie Vandergaw, who for 20 years fed and coexisted with the bears at his Mat-Su cabin, has pleaded guilty to eight counts of intentionally feeding game, according to the state Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals.
Vandergaw, 71, was charged last May with 20 counts of illegally feeding game at his "Bear Haven" in the Yentna River valley, about 50 miles northwest of Anchorage.
Vandergaw pleaded guilty last week to eight of the charges and prosecutors have dismissed the remaining 12, Assistant Attorney General Andrew Peterson said. A plea agreement, if accepted by the judge, calls for Vandergaw to receive 180 days of suspended jail time, a fine of between $20,000 and $72,000 and three years of probation, Peterson said.
Vandergaw's sentencing is set for Thursday morning in Palmer.
The criminal misdemeanor charges against Vandergaw covered bear feedings from May 10 to Sept. 19, 2008, though charging documents alleged the feedings of both black and grizzly bears had been going on far longer.
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