Crime Prevention

Visiting the national forest can be a wonderful experience, and whatever your activity, chances are there may be other people in the area. Precautionary guidelines can reduce your vulnerability and prevent crimes.

Emergency Phone Numbers
Call these numbers to report a crime on the Umatilla National Forest, or use the link to the electronic form.

911 (Always in an emergency)



On an urban forest, break-ins are a risk, especially when it will be left unattended for a few hours or a few days. Protect your vehicle and your valuables:

  • Lock valuables in the trunk or where they can­not be seen,
  • Lock your vehicle. Do not hide your keys on or near your vehicle,
  • Take note of the other vehicles in the area and write down license plate numbers and descriptions of vehicles that appear suspicious or out of place,
  • Report suspicious activity to local law enforcement or Forest Service personnel as soon as possible.

What crimes are committed in our forests?

Theft of timber and other forest products; arson; vandalism of private and government property; damaging Forest Service campsites, roads, or trails; and illegal drug sales and manufacturing are just some examples. These are crimes prosecutable under both federal and state laws. These laws protect the forest's biodiversity, scenic views, water, soil and the cultural and heritage aspects of the forests.

Criminal Activity
You may discover illegal activity while on the forest.  For example, the presence of polyvinyl chloride pipes or hoses along the ground may indicate an active marijuana garden, or household chemicals in an unusual com­bination used with glassware and tubing may indicate methamphetamine production. If you come across suspicious activity:

  • Do not approach or confront the individuals at the site; do not in any way indicate that you are suspicious,
  • Immediately leave the area along the same route you entered,
  • Watch for other people in the area,
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times. In some instances, potentially dangerous devices or harmful materials might be nearby. Make every effort to avoid contact with suspicious packages and/or equipment; they might be highly volatile,
  • When you are safely away, write down a detailed description of the activities taking place, the area, the people and any vehicles,
  • Immediately report the activity to local law enforcement or Forest Service personnel.

 What to Look for:

  • ATVs operating off of established roads or trails.
  • Suspicious activities in the woods in the evening and on weekends, especially forest products being loaded into pickups or vans.
  • Rental vans in the forest where they would not normally be.
  • Campfires in locations that they should not be or left unattended.
  • Bright lights on hillsides at night.
  • Chainsaws running in the middle of the night or on weekends.
  • Dumping of household or commercial trash.
  • Anyone damaging a forest service recreation site or trail or deliberately setting a fire.

Observe and Record:

  • If you believe you have witnessed a crime, do not approach the person and do not take a photo of them! Instead observe what they are doing, record it on paper and report it to the authorities.
  • When you report a tip, you will be asked to provide information such as a description of the person(s), a description of their vehicle or vessel, any registration or distinguishing logo (car rental identifier, license plate), what they are doing, when, and where.