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Recent death of BYU-I student on Teton River prompts closure of popular recreational site

St. Anthony

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Fremont County Sheriff’s Office

ST. ANTHONY – A popular spot for recreating on the Teton River has been closed to the public.

Monkey Rock in Fremont County has always been a popular place for people to float the Teton River. It’s privately-owned, and the owners have always allowed public access to the area.

But Fremont County Sheriff Len Humphries tells the owners decided to no longer make that space accessible to the public.

The owners reached out to the sheriff’s office and told them the amount of litter and trash in the area was becoming a problem. The amount of trash, combined with the recent death of a BYU-Idaho student who drowned near that area while floating the river with a group of friends, was a cause for concern.

RELATED: Authorities release name of man who drowned in the Teton River

“They did not want to be held liable (for anymore debris or accidents), so they decided to close it,” Humphries says.

The property owners have posted “No Trespassing” signs and requested the sheriff’s office assistance in enforcing it.

“We would like to remind those who may choose to ignore the ‘No Trespassing’ signs that trespassing is a misdemeanor and will not be tolerated,” a news release from Fremont County Sheriff’s Office says.

Anyone seeking summer recreation in that area can refer to the US Forest Service website.

RELATED: Body of drowning victim found in Teton River

Thomas Calvin Willie, 21, of Malad was one of 10 kids who decided to float the river in that area June 14. Willie got caught near a diversion dam where the rapids were particularly strong and did not survive.

His body was recovered last Monday. Rescue crews spent over a week looking for Willie’s body. Specific details of where he was located on the river have not been released.