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Vandals strike Lamoille Canyon road-clearing project

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Canyon road to remain closed for now

U.S. Forest Service equipment works at the Glacial Overlook area in mid-August 2021.

ELKO – Vandalism in Lamoille Canyon has caused thousands of dollars’ worth of damage and will likely delay the canyon’s full reopening, the U.S. Forest Service reported Tuesday.

Over the Labor Day weekend, the gate was destroyed, and barricades removed that closed the section of the Lamoille Canyon Road still not cleared of debris after vast amounts of rain caused 20 debris flows in early August, stated the agency.

“The Forest Road Crew and Elko County Roads Department staff have been working extremely hard to remove large boulders, woody material, and soil from the canyon road,” said Josh Nicholes, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest’s Mountain City-Ruby Mountains-Jarbidge District Ranger. “They worked 14 days straight to open the road to the Thomas Canyon Campground by Labor Day weekend.”

“To come back to this vandalism was extremely disheartening to the crews,” stressed Nicholes. “They had planned to jump right back into clearing the road today, but now have to assess the damage, including thoroughly inspecting all the equipment left in the closed section of the road to see if anything had been tampered with.”

Nicholes expects the project to be delayed for at least three days.

“Any delay impacts our ability to get the road open before the first snowfall and the limited budget we have to work with,” he added.

“USDA Forest Service Law Enforcement has opened an investigation into this vandalism incident.” said Capt. Don Harris. “Anyone caught vandalizing public resources could be subject to felony charges for damaging government property.”

He also asked the public to please call 775-355-5337 if they have any information on who might have caused the vandalism.

“It is unfortunate that our limited staff and dollars must be diverted from reopening the Lamoille Canyon Road to addressing the damage caused by vandals,” stated Harris.

Two years ago, vandals struck the Camp Lamoille site in the canyon after it was heavily damaged by a 2018 wildfire.

They broke nine windows and knocked down a partition wall and light fixtures in three cabins.

The Elko Lions Club has been working hard to restore the camp following the 9,000-acre Range 2 Fire.

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