Vandals strike Knob, other USFS sites again

January 31, 2020

The U.S. Forest Service seeks the public’s help in reporting and preventing illegal activities that are damaging Clinch Ranger District sites.

Last week, vandals damaged one of the two signature boards at the High Knob tower, according to district Ranger Michelle Davalos. These boards were installed when the new tower was constructed to give visitors a place to leave their mark without defacing the rest of the tower. The boards are meant to be displayed in the future as a sort of time capsule of visitors to the tower. The vandalism means that many of the signatures and quotes left by visitors the past few years have been lost.

Recently, forest visitors and employees also have been finding trash, including piles of household garbage, dumped in forest recreation areas. Any form of trash creates a health and safety hazard for people, pets and wildlife.

“It is unfortunate that our limited staff and dollars must be diverted from maintaining our recreation sites to address the damage caused by those who choose to litter and vandalize our forests,” Davalos said in a press release. “We need your help taking care of these special places so that we can continue to provide high quality recreation opportunities.”

The Forest Service asks that you discourage and report vandalism and off-road driving when you see it. Call Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer David Ford at 276/679-8370, extension 225, to report these and any other activities that damage public lands.

Purposely damaging public resources could result in fines of up to $5,000 and up to six months in jail. Additionally, please practice “Leave No Trace” and “Pack it In, Pack it Out” principles when you’re visiting a national forest.

Contact the Clinch Ranger District office at 276/679-8370 for more information.