CARSON CITY, Nevada… U.S. Forest Service officers cited four individuals last week for riding snowmobiles in the Mokelumne Wilderness on the Carson Ranger District of the Humboldt – Toiyabe Forest. Three riders were cited on January 21 and one was cited on January 22, 2013. All four riders were issued citations, which can result in a fine of up to $5,000, imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.
“This citation is not one to be taken lightly – the minimum fine is $425,” said Dan Morris, Carson Ranger District Recreation Staff Officer. “Use of snowmobiles and other mechanized equipment is illegal in designated wilderness,” said Morris.
The Wilderness area is located in Alpine County, west of Markleeville, California. The snowmobilers entered from Hope Valley (Blue Lakes) Sno-park off California Highway 88. There are a wide variety of open snowmobiling opportunities accessed from the Sno-park. The Wilderness area is posted as closed to motorized use and maps are readily available. Officers patrol this area daily, and while on patrol, they observed the snowmobilers entering the Wilderness area directly next to the closure signs.
“Wilderness areas were designated by Congress to ensure that all land was not developed; as our land is increasingly populated, wilderness becomes more valuable because it contrasts with the highly developed world in which we live,” he explained. “It is the intent of Congress that we preserve and protect wilderness areas in their natural condition,” Morris said.
Understanding which areas are open and closed to snowmobiling is an essential part of planning a snowmobile outing near designated Wilderness areas. Maps are located at the Hope Valley Sno-park, beginning of Burnside Lake road, and Forestdale Road that clearly explain winter recreation opportunities in the area. Free maps are also available at the Carson Ranger District office and on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest website.
Learn more about this release by calling Dan Morris, Carson Ranger District Recreation Staff Officer, at 775-884-8140, or by visiting the following website: http://www.fs.usda.gov/
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