Home Opinion Editorials Keep eye out, report Fox Hill vandals
Keep eye out, report Fox Hill vandals
The vandalism that has occurred and continues to occur up and above Fox
Hill Road, as illustrated in a story in last week’s Observer, is
senseless and needs to stop. It’s a mess up there, from illegal dumping
along the road and wreckless shooting to tearing up the land with
four-wheel drives. Stopping the illegal activity is going to require
people who use the area to play a part.
The sheriff’s department can boost its patrols from time to time. But it has a large county to cover, all the way from North Powder to north of Elgin. And with limited resources, it simply can’t provide round-the-clock coverage to make sure the vandalism stops. All of us who head to the mountains by way of Fox Hill need to keep an eye out for vandals, for illegal dumping and for vehicles mudding off the roads and trails. See something suspicious, take down license numbers, descriptions and report them to the sheriff’s office. But just as important as catching vandals in the act of their crime is educating friends and acquaintances about the damage such activities cause. Shooting up signs is nonsense. Dumping appliances and furniture, as well as other garbage, is equally as stupid. And making ruts in the ground is just plain juvenile and gives all four-wheelers a bad name.
Anyone who knows people who do some of these things should let them know that there are appropriate places for target practice. There are places to take old appliances and junk, though they will cost a few bucks. And there are off-road places to operate four-wheelers and jacked-up four-wheel drives. Our region provides great opportunity for people who enjoy all sorts of outdoor activities. There are legal ways to enjoy them.
The Fox Hill problem is symptomatic of a larger problem of people not respecting our forests. No forest visitor has to travel far on any forest road before spotting beer and pop cans, water bottles and other garbage strewn about. The lack of respect for our forests, in an area that prides itself on its love of the outdoors, is astounding.
Granted, the people who spoil our forests are the exception rather than the rule — by a wide margin. But the sheriff’s office can’t fix the problem by itself. We all have a part to play in keeping our forests free from vandalism, from littering and from wanton destruction.