Forest Service Demolishes Access to Private Property
by Shari Dovale
A planned outing to claims along Bedrock Gulch and Eagle Creek by the Northwest Gold Prospectors Association (NWGPA) turned ugly last weekend. Their trails had been maliciously blocked by hundreds of downed trees and cement barricades.
The NWGPA is a club with over 200 members. The members pull their resources and buy legal claims to share throughout the year. Their first outing of the year was planned for last weekend. They intended to tour their claims, showing new members where they can access, and the rules to abide by.
However, they found that the Forest Service had blocked access to at least four of their claims through the intentional destruction of the roads. Slash, downed trees, and even hauling in 3-foot by up to 12-foot concrete traffic barriers, piled to the point that even the deer and elk cannot cross through.
Trees were also downed and hauled next to the river, and it seems that the work may have even gone into the water.
Remember that the EPA is coming down hard on anyone that they determine has affected the waters of the United States, through the Clean Water Act. Joe Robertson was found guilty of these violations for putting a pond on his property, affecting only one-tenth of an acre, sixty miles from any navigable water.
However, as you can see from the pictures, the Forest Service has intentionally plundered the area next to Eagle Creek, which leads to the Coeur d’Alene River. How is it that they are allowed to get away with this? Will the EPA even blink when it comes to the government’s intentional violations?
While checking their claims near Bedrock Gulch, members of the Club found what was professed to be a “fire break”. Now, I am not an expert, but maybe someone can look at these pictures and explain to me how this is normal procedure to stop a fire. Massive slash and trees, enough to block all wildlife from crossing the road, seems to be more in line with starting a fire than stopping one.
Another question is how many thousand$ of dollar$ did the Forest Service spend to accomplish this devastation? This appears to be a complete misuse of public funds.
The Prospectors in the NWGPA own more than a dozen claims. So far, they have verified that four of the claims have had this harsh destruction to block their access. They have planned another outing this weekend, and hope to have access for their members and guests to some of their claims.
Redoubt News will be bringing you updates as we follow this story.