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Vandals damage Forest Service road grader needed to maintain access to public lands

Idaho

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The following is a news release from the U.S. Forest Service.

IDAHO FALLS — Vandals caused almost $4,000 in damage and set maintenance crews back potentially weeks when they smashed the windows of a Forest Service road grader Wednesday night. Road maintenance operations will cease until the grader is repaired.

The incident occurred sometime between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 8:30 a.m. The grader was parked at the Fullmer Boat Landing site along River Road near Heise. Crews had been out this week completing road maintenance along the popular river access area and hauling in gravel to improve the parking lot.

“Vandalism of any kind is such a waste. This level of damage is really frustrating,” said Forest Supervisor Mel Bolling. “With limited equipment and time to maintain roads, this will delay our schedule and may result in other work not being completed.”

Road maintenance performed by the Forest Service is critical to maintaining public access to national forest lands but is limited by time and funding.

The Forest Service maintains hundreds of miles of roads every year on three million acres of public land. Timing is critical as moisture content in the soil during the spring is optimum for performing road work and maximizing the maintenance crew’s efforts. The crew is also tasked with everything from installing bridges and culverts to putting in vault toilets and installing fences. This action could have ripple effects on other aspects of the forest as these projects could also be delayed.

Law Enforcement was on scene early April 30 to investigate. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Patrol Captain Rayce Angell at rayce.angell@usda.gov or by calling (208) 557-5959.

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