Protect YOUR Forest
By angelamontana

Posted: June 26, 2018

I’ve spoken with many people who would never report anybody doing something illegal, and I have talked to people who would talk to the person/people committing the crime before reporting them, and I have spoken with people who would report anybody doing something illegal on the spot.  Here are some tips and suggestions on reporting that might interest you straight from the Forest Service website:

Protect Your Forest

You own the National Forest.  As an owner, you have a stake in what happens in the forest.

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.

Where and when do forest crimes occur?

Illegal activities can take place anywhere and at any time but usually occur later in the evening or on weekends.

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.

How to Observe and Record:

If you think you have witnessed a crime in the woods, 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.

Call a Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer (See phone list)

Laws are laws.