DATE: June 23, 2004
CONTACT: Mike Brown (775) 753-0386
ELKO FIELD OFFICE: 2004-45
VANDALISM OCCURING AT PUBLIC CAMPGROUNDS
Two separate incidents of vandalism occurred at BLM recreation sites in northeastern
Nevada last week.
At the Zunino/Jiggs Reservoir recreation site, 30 miles south of Elko, the door to the vault
toilet was shot 28 times with what appears to be a high-caliber firearm. Replacement costs for the door are estimated at $1000. In May, two windows were shot out on the same vault toilet.
At the Wilson Reservoir Recreation Site, 83 miles northwest of Elko, the garbage truck
windshield was broken by someone throwing rocks through it. In addition, the lid from the
potable drinking water trailer was opened – contaminating the water supply, The trailer had to be drained, re-sanitized, flushed, and filled with 500 gallons of water. Damages for the two Wilson Reservoir incidents are estimated at nearly $2000.
“These incidents are extremely disheartening,” said Steve Dondero, recreation team leader
for the Elko Field Office. “Not only are they senseless acts which cost the taxpayers a lot of
money, they’re very dangerous as well. People have a right to be safe at a public recreation site.
Shooting structures, breaking windshields, and contaminating drinking water are inexcusable.”
Dondero continued, “Federal regulations state that on developed recreation sites and areas,
unless otherwise authorized no person shall discharge or use firearms, other weapons, or
fireworks. The BLM asks visitors to report any vandalism activities they may see. In the past,
signs, information boards, restrooms, road counters and fee collection stations have been the
targets of vandals.”
“It is not possible for the BLM to maintain an on-site presence at each of these sites
continuously throughout the season,” said Dondero. “We need the visitors’ help in monitoring
these sites and reporting any observed or suspected vandalism activities as quickly as possible to the BLM.”
Visitors are encouraged to call the BLM through the Elko Interagency Dispatch Center at
(775) 748-4000, 24 hours a day, seven days a week to report vandalism.
BLM Law Enforcement Ranger will be stepping up patrols of recreation sites along with
cooperation from other law enforcement agencies. A citation under existing regulations for destruction of government property can cost thousands of dollars.