U.S. Forest Service issues warning to forest visitors
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — Vandals are endangering the lives of motorcyclists and all-terrain vehicle riders in the Pike National Forest by burying spikes along trails used by off-highway vehicles and others, the American Motorcyclist Association reports.
The spiked strips, which resemble heavy barbed wire, can cause flat tires on motorized vehicles, which could cause loss of control and result in a crash. The “booby traps also threaten the safety of hikers and horseback riders.
One strip was found on a single-track trail in the Pike National Forest on May 5. The matter came to the attention of the AMA through AMA Life Member Jerry Abboud and the Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition.
The U.S. Forest Service issued a warning on Tuesday, stating that, “The device posed a significant public safety concern, and U.S. Forest Service officials are asking for assistance from the public to provide any information they may have.”
“Such acts are deplorable,” said Wayne Allard, AMA vice president of government relations. “No matter what is motivating the people behind this, endangering the safety of innocent individuals is unacceptable.”
Allard called for harsh punishment for the perpetrators when they are identified.
“The safety of the public and our employees is our highest concern,” said Laura Mark, Forest Service special agent in charge for the Rocky Mountain Region. “Anyone who has information about this is encouraged to contact the Forest Service law enforcement officials.”
Mark advises individuals who find the spike strips or any other booby trap to:
- Document the location — with latitude and longitude, if available;
- While at the site, try to report the device to the nearest Forest Service office, which can be found here: https://hrm.gdcii.com/directory/;
- Follow the Forest Service directions;
- If the Forest Service cannot be contacted, conspicuously mark the site to warn other trail users or carefully remove the device.
The AMA also requests that information be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the location of the device — a description of the device, the date of discovery and any other information deemed important or appropriate.
Individuals with information about the found booby traps are asked by the Forest Service to leave a message on the Forest Service Law Enforcement Tip Line at (303) 275-5266. A reward is being offered.