CARSON CITY — “We do not and never will tolerate hate crimes on your National Forest. We know that the public will be as outraged as we are when they learn about the recent swastika symbol graffiti and ‘Forest Service Nazis’ wording sprayed inside the bathrooms, on signs, and on multiple rocks at SNO-Park in Hope Valley, at Burnside Lake Road, and at Scotts Lake,” said Genny Wilson, Carson District Ranger on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.
The Forest Service is requesting the public’s help regarding a recent string of vandalism in Hope Valley, Alpine, California. Swastika symbols and “Forest Service Nazis” graffiti of all sizes were sprayed with black paint in mid-July. Forest Service law enforcement is investigating, but no significant leads have materialized to help solve the crime.
Wilson believes that some of the vandalism could be attributed to frustration against the federal government in general, or possibly Forest Service policies. “Some individuals are just not receptive to the existing rules and regulations,” she said. “We want the public to know that our door is always open. We are willing to listen to the public’s concerns, and work with them as much as possible. However, that’s not an option when criminal activity is involved.”
Vandalism is costly to the National Forest’s budgets. The damage is a significant cost to taxpayers and diverts time and funding away from planned projects that ultimately improves the visitors’ experience. However, the cost to taxpayers is only part of the story. The gates and signs that have been vandalized protect both the visitors and natural resources. Signing helps Forest visitors know where they are going, what type of use is allowed, and the rules of the area.
All reports from the public are extremely helpful for law enforcement to ensure that a thorough investigation will occur, and that issues are promptly addressed
Damaging any natural features or other property of the U.S. is a federal violation and is a chargeable offence of a minimum of $250 per incident; the maximum penalty could bring felony charges and fines. If you have any information regarding the vandalism, please contact the Carson District at 775-882-2766. Learn more about this release by contacting Patrol Captain Dave Leveille at 775-355-5311, or Public Affairs Officer Christie Kalkowski at 775-355-5311.