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Deschutes National Forest rangers removing man-made structures

(Update: Adding video, comments from Forest Service)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Deschutes National Forest said in a Facebook post Wednesday that Forest Service field rangers have been busy removing man-made structures across the forest, left behind by campers. 

"Recreate responsibly -- think about how your actions today may impact your public lands in the future!" the posting concluded.

On Thursday, NewsChannel 21 spoke with Jaimie Olle, a public affairs specialist for the forest, to learn about the impacts the unauthorized structures have on wildlife.

“Building trails and structures on your own in the national forests is not allowed,” Olle said. “When we take the time to build a new recreation site or a trail, we’re very thoughtful and go through an extensive process to make sure we’re not going to have significant impacts to wildlife.”

Jean Nelson-Dean, another public affairs officer, said during the planning process, the Forest Service considers impacts to wildlife, soil, plants, hydrology, and cultural resources.

She said people who leave unauthorized buildings on the national forest can face a fine of up to $5,000, depending on the seriousness of the situation.

For serious damage or unauthorized trail building, the fee could be even higher, depending upon the amount of damage.

Olle said the Forest Service expects a lot of people to come to the forests on Labor Day weekend, and that people who choose to recreate outdoors should do so responsibly.

“When we come in and disrupt those areas, that can impact everything, from being able to find shelter against predators and find reliable food sources, and ultimately their survival in these areas,” Olle said.

Article Topic Follows: Environment

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Rhea Panela

Rhea Panela is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Rhea here.


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