|05-04-2005, 05:48 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2002
Member # 9328
Location: At the Mountains of Madness
CA- Spikes spur concern of eco-terrorism
Spikes spur concern of eco-terrorism
By LEROY STANDISH/Staff Writer
APPLE VALLEY -- For the last few years Jason Andrews and his friends have made regular trips into the desert north of town to Fairview Mountain.
He and the 20 other members of the Desert Climbers Association have gotten to know the mountain, built pedestrian trails and enjoyed many climbs on its rocks.
Lately though, he and other members have come across some indications that they are not welcome: Six inch long nails, with sheet metal backing, sticking a half inch through the dirt placed along trails and in the parking lot. Also, the pedestrian trails they have labored to build have been blocked by big rocks.
"The booby traps are over the line," Andrews said. "They are jeopardizing safety and property."
Andrews, who describes himself as an environmentalist, said about two years ago he noticed that someone had set up stone walls and spread nails to stop off-highway vehicle enthusiasts from riding there. He raised no objections.
"When I first saw these stone walls I thought they were making good sense from an ecological standpoint," he said "Because the motorcycles do damage that can't be sustained on these slopes."
He now believes that whoever set up the stone walls and spread the nails on trails and in washes and parking lots has gone too far.
"Their methods are wrong," Andrews said. "I did not realize the magnitude of what has been going on."
When Andrews and friends went to rock climb in the area last Sunday, one of the nails flattened a tire on his car.
"I barely missed stepping on one," said Dwain Warren, a fellow hiker. "We started getting really kind of upset about this. Those nails could cause someone a whole bunch of misery -- tetanus shots and everything else."
Warren took photographs, called the Bureau of Land Management and talked with Larry Blaine Chief of operations for the Barstow field office.
Blaine said he notified the BLM's Rangers, which enforces the law on federal lands.
"When the public brings it to our attention we like to take care of things like that immediately," Blaine said. "I was disturbed. I gave them to the law enforcement group to check it out."
Barry Nelson Chief Ranger for BLM Barstow Field Office, said in the eight years he has worked the area he has seen an average of one to four booby traps set each year.
Many of those reports come from the southern and eastern portions of the Fairview Mountains and the Juniper Flats area near Hesperia, Nelson said.
When the incidents are reported authorities are often left wondering when the devices were planted and how many more have been found and thrown away by people who do not report it. It makes tying up loose ends on the active investigations difficult.
"Unfortunately these are the type of crimes that are difficult to investigate because there are hardly ever a clue to go on," Nelson said. "We have never arrested anybody, but we have a few open cases now."
The booby traps are intended to discourage off road vehicles, Nelson said. "Because the location where many of these incidents have been reported off-highway vehicle use seems to be the most prevalent use," Nelson said.
Though off-highway vehicles are the intended target of most booby traps, it is horseback riders, hikers or wildlife that could be hurt most.
"It might poke a hole in someone's tire, but if someone is out there riding on horseback and the horse steps on something like this that could be pretty devastating to the horse and the owner," Nelson said. "It may not be the activity they are intending to harm."
"Somewhere. Out there. Is a big ass forest of weed"--Thomas Edison (from Rolling Kansas)
|05-04-2005, 10:10 AM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2001
Member # 8294
Location: In a house with a brewery.
I really worry that these idiots are going to do something like this to open areas before there is a big event. i.e. The washes before TDS.
Can you imagine the damage and pain cause if a person, dog, or horse stepped on one of those.
How can anyone think that this will help ANYTHING.
If life gives you lemons, throw them at the stupid people.
|05-04-2005, 10:16 AM||#4 (permalink)|
They are terrorists. Terrorists do not care who or how they hurt someone if they believe thatit furthurs the cause. And to some extent it did which gave them "hunger" for more (read the environmentalist hiker had no issue when he thought it was simply a ploy against motorized recreation) - the attitude of the hiker gave them their "hunger" for more.
SO they went to the next step.
Anyone using tactics like this is nothing more then a terrorist - regardless of cause. Their hope is to "win thru intimidation and scare tactcis" - and they should be judged, tried and convicted just like any other person who uses terror to achieve their means.
Spotter Rockstomper Racing W.E. Rocks West #8