Forest Service seeks help discouraging vandalism

Contact(s): Michelle Davalos (276) 679-8370

11/30/2018 Norton, VA – The USDA Forest Service is experiencing a rise in vandalism on National Forest lands in Scott, Wise, Dickenson, and Lee counties, Virginia and Letcher and Pike counties, Kentucky. Incidences of graffiti, litter, and destruction of property have been reported. In just the past few months, vandals have spray painted the sidewalk and structure at the High Knob Observation Tower, painted symbols along the Guest River Gorge Trail, and stolen two large recreation area signs. 

“It saddens me to see people destroy what is actually their own property since these incidents occurred on public lands,” stated District Ranger Michelle Davalos “In addition, these acts of vandalism divert already limited dollars and people from managing and maintaining our recreation sites.”

We need your help to prevent damage to public resources. Help us by discouraging vandalism and reporting vandalism when you see it. If you see something, say something. Call our Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer, David Ford, at 276-679-8370 x225 to report activities that are damaging public lands. Purposely damaging public resources could result in fines of up to $5,000 and up to six months in jail.  

The George Washington and Jefferson National Forests connect people to a diversity of outdoor recreational opportunities through 2,160 miles of trails, 200 developed recreation areas, and vast hunting, fishing, camping, and educational experiences, attracting nearly 2.2 million visitors annually.  These public lands and opportunities are yours to enjoy. The Forest Service manages recreation opportunities on the Clinch Ranger District at four campgrounds, four lakes and many rivers and streams for whitewater kayaking and fishing, and over 100 miles of hiking trails, the iconic High Knob Tower in Wise County, and Birch Knob Observation Tower in Dickenson County.  We need your help taking care of these special places so that we can continue to provide high quality recreation opportunities. 

Contact the Clinch Ranger District office in Norton, Virginia at (276) 679-8370 for more information.