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Vandals spoiling OHV trail signage

Volunteers place stickers on Carsonite sign poles last year during an effort to mark more trails in the area.

Sun Advocate publisher

Imagine that you were driving down a road (without GPS or a map) and you were following street signs to go on a specific route to get somewhere you wanted to go. And then you came to a place where three roads branched off, and you didn't know which one to take. What would you do?

That is the problem that is confronting ATV and dirt bike riders in some parts of Carbon County. The signs that direct riders to approved Bureau of Land Management routes are being taken down as fast as they are being put up.

"In one place up by Kenilworth I have put in six Carsonites and they have all been taken," said Josh Winkler, outdoor recreation planner for the BLM Price office during a meeting of the Carbon County Trails Committee on Thursday afternoon. "We are also seeing signs taken down north of Price on other trails as well as around the east county area."

Carsonite signs cost up to $20 for the materials that are used in them (the stanchion and various signage stickers on them) and the time to put them up, replace them and keep them in repair is many hundreds of dollars more.

"All we are trying to do is to have markers so people know what trails they can travel on," said Winkler.

With the signs missing, riders could find themselves on trails not earmarked for travel, while damaging the countryside. In some cases trails are also not marked for travel because they are dangerous in one way or another.

At the state level tampering with, destroying or removing a sign put there by a public entity is a Class B misdemeanor which could lead to a fine of $1,000 and up to six months in jail. At the federal level there can be a fine and up to six months in jail.

Winkler says the BLM is monitoring the situation and looking for those that damage, remove or move the signs that are put in place.

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