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Couches, grills and pallets left on forest land will cost rangers thousands of dollars to clean up


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HOBACK, Wyoming — It will cost thousands of dollars and over 100 man hours to clean up what appears to be a makeshift hangout spot with couches and pallets on forest land, according to the Facebook page for the U.S. Forest Service Bridger-Teton National Forest.

“You’ve got a couple of couches, there’s a fire pit there, there are a few grills. There’s kind of a bar with mugs and glasses. It’s constructed with pallets to frame the area. It’s maybe 50 pallets. That’s my rough estimate,” said Todd Stiles, a Jackson District Ranger for the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

multiple couches
Courtesy U.S. Forest Service- Bridger-Teton National Forest

Stiles said the makeshift hangout was created in the Hoback area of the Jackson Ranger District in June and has since not been removed. The area in question is located near a road where no vehicles are allowed.

Stiles told the national forest is 3.4 million acres and the Jackson Ranger District that he manages is about 700,000 acres. They routinely patrol.

“We do have signage, we have a lot of things that help the public understand regulations and that kind of thing but obviously, we are not everywhere in every minute and this is kind of one of those spots. We didn’t know it was there until we found it,” he explained. “Then when we saw it, we thought ‘Wow, that’s pretty developed, that’s going to be quite a bit of work to get folks out here and haul all that stuff off, and pay to have it dealt with at the dump and all that.”

Stiles said it’s just one more thing that takes away from maintaining trails and campgrounds.

He said the ranger district has yet to clean it up because it takes time, resources and money.

“We don’t have a lot of money for supporting recreation projects and that kind of thing, so we would much prefer to spend those funds on projects that benefit the public versus our time and funds going into this basically dealing with garbage,” he said.

His hope is that people who know anything about it or would want to remove it can call the U.S. Forest Service for Bridger-Teton National Forest at (307) 739-5500.

“We understand that people want to go out and use the forest and that’s great. That’s one of the awesome things about having public lands. We just ask that people respect them and don’t leave permanent structures up,” Stiles said.

picture of makeshift
Courtesy U.S. Forest Service- Bridger-Teton National Forest
reserved for patients
Courtesy U.S. Forest Service- Bridger-Teton National Forest