Vandalism at Hanging Lake & Other Western Colorado Trails Causes Concern

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - The Forest Service is still searching for the suspect accused of vandalizing Hanging Lake, but unfortunately that is not the only outdoor trail to experience similar damage. 
The graffiti was reported on Tuesday, as some vandals who can’t spell tagged the word “Blest” throughout the trail.  
“19 separate spots of painted graffiti, it was on rocks, it was on trees, it was on benches, on bridges,” said Aaron Mayville, District Ranger of the Eagle and Holy Cross region.
This is one of the many issues that Hanging Lake has with people breaking rules, which frustrates the Forest Service.
“Those kind of people don't belong in national forests, we need people who understand the value and enjoy the value and want to responsibility enjoy it,” said Mayville.
It may cost $3,000.00 to clean up the recent graffiti, which may result in people not being able to enjoy the hike.  
“If that trend does continue, one of the options that I have to consider is closing it until we staff it up,” said Mayville. 
However, it’s not just Hanging Lake seeing vandalism. “The one thing that we see with a lot of our vandalism is spray painting,” said Chris Joyner of the Bureau of Land Management. 
Joyner has seen not only spray panting, but also littering, and the damage of property on some popular trails in Western Colorado. 
“We’re seeing a lot of activity in Dominguez Escalante National Conservation area, Montrose, Gunnison Gorge,” said Joyner.
In order to crack down on the vandals, the Forest Service, and BLM need the public’s help. 
“If they see someone vandalizing, capture whatever information they can and give it to us, and we will prosecute if we can,” said Joyner. 
Having nature not covered in graffiti is the true meaning of blessed, with two s’s and no t. 
If you have any information on the vandalism at Hanging Lake, contact the Forest Service at 970-945-2521.  To contact the BLM office about any other vandalism, contact their office at 970-244-3000. 

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