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Monday, January 11, 2010

Vandalism update

On Wednesday January 6th a friend of mine and myself went to check on the state of the hot springs (my visits are always random). When I arrived at the gate, not intending to open and drive up I once again found the lock had been cut from the gate. Not much of a surprise as this happens more often than I care to admit. I do believe that the gates lock continually is removed by the same group of people. Anyway, continuing up the mountain I found the state of the hot springs to be abhorable! Two empty 12 pack bottles of beer lying on the deck and every single empty bottle flung down hill to break on the rocks. Towels, underwear, socks and a few shirts, pistachio shells, sunflower seeds, Russian dried fish snack packaging and lots of other food garbage was strewn about the soak. I was thoroughly disgusted to see this behavior in the middle of winter. Generally the winter crowd is much more respectful to the property. So I proceeded to clean the mess up. After about an hour the two of us had cleaned up as much as possible (you just cannot get every shard of glass). I proceeded down hill and put a temporary lock on the gate as I left.

On Friday the 8th I returned again to meet with the forest service and get the proper locks on the gate(there are three locks; Bonneville Power, US Forest Service, and the private land owners). Once done I continued up hill only to find almost as much of the exact same garbage as picked up on Wednesday. Once again I cleaned the area up. Before I left this day though (Friday) I drained both tubs so as to at least inconvenience the late night trouble makers.

Monday the 11th (today) I returned again, surprise surprise the locks were gone again. After some scouting around I discovered they actually blew them off this time with a small bomb. Do not care to go into details on that, do not want to give anyone ideas. Also there was remains of a smashed out tinted car window at the parking area before the gate. It appears somebodies car was broken into. Continuing up the hill to the soak I found more of the same garbage again and a large black sooty spot in the ice compacted on the deck. It appeared these jackasses tried to start a fire just off the deck and it moved somehow onto the deck (right in the middle). So I picked up all the garbage once again and decided the sooty spot needed to go. I put together a few hoses and proceeded to melt the sooty snow off the decks. As the snow was melting under the hot water I noticed an iridescence emanating off the wood of the deck and I noticed a slight petroleum smell. 45 mins later the sooty snow was gone. I then decided to clean up deep under the decks and found a hidden two quart jug of diesel motor oil! These jackasses were starting wet wood on fire with motor oil. Wow! Anyway I managed to clean up everything the best I could.

Scenic Hot Springs is under a constant barrage of vandalism. We are looking at the idea of starting a coalition of a very few reliable trust worthy soakers who are interested in patrolling the springs so as to keep these vandals out. If this is something you have the time for most importantly, please drop us an email. Include your phone number please so we may contact you to discuss details.

Anyway this is one of my most absolute favorite places in the world and it breaks my heart to see such disrespect for such a natural wonder. I have gotten to meet quite a few soakers at scenic and I know that this spring has some special followers that can fit the bill. Please contact us if you are interested.

12 comments:

  1. Matt and myself are in complete agreement on getting tough with vandalism. We have a fair idea of the particular group that is responsible for most of the problems, including the vandalism at the Forest Service gate.

    Yesterday I spoke with a State Trooper who patrols that section of Highway 2 and with whom I'm on good terms (tit for tat sort of thing from a major accident scene a few years ago). He has promised to keep an eye on the mountainside for lights and fires and the entrance when he comes down off Stevens at night . . . and to give me a call if he notes anything. (Any light or campfire at the pools can be seen quite plainly on the dark mountainside from the highway rise to Stevens.)

    What this group of irresponsible trespassers are doing is destroying chances of Scenic remaining. I echo Matt's call for volunteers to come aboard to watch check up on and patrol the property. We've got to nip this in the bud . . . we've got to stop it now! Or Scenic will experience the same throw-the-baby-out-with-the-bathwater response it experienced in 2001 . . . destruction and closure; only this time they may force the capping of the springs.

    We are also looking for someone experienced in video surveillance to advise and help us. If you have suggestions, get us a holler.

    I guess you could say we want to deputize the good people who want Scenic to emerge. Think you could spare some time? Contact Matt or myself.

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  2. If I lived closer I certainly would help out anyway I could!! I think it is awful that such terrible vandalism is going on. The springs are a beautiful natural place that should be respected! I'm willing to do what I can, but I live far away and my time is limited.

    I hope the responsible party is caught and prosecuted.

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  3. If I only lived closer, you'd have my on-site volunteer services in an instant. Matt, Rick - you guys are awesome. Keep fighting the good fight. Let me know if there is anything that I can do.

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  4. What a shame to read about such vandalism. I just discovered this blog, as well as the spring, but am already disappointed that a few bad visitors has likely ruined such a treasure for the rest of us.

    Do keep me posted if there is any opportunity for volunteer work in cleaning, restoring, or maintaining. I'd like to give back - even before receiving. it's just the right thing to do.

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  5. If someone were in the area and happened to see someone or some suspicious activity in the vicinity, who would we contact? Do you have a specific phone number we should call? Or what would the procedure be?

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  6. If it is an emergency or obviously criminal activity (and blowing up the locks on the gate is criminal . . . a federal offense) . . . call 911.

    If you, yourself, or a member of your party is also trespassing and you are threatened or assaulted by these vandals (or anyone else for that matter), call 911. I'd rather catch these jerks and will forget your trespass.

    If it is simply something suspicious text a message to this number: (206) 569-4512 along with a callback number.

    If you want to volunteer to spend some time on the property educating and turning away people (yes, volunteers get to enjoys the closed springs), give us an email at scenichotsprings@gmail.com

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  7. It's very disappointing to read about the vandalism occurring at Scenic. I went up on Dec 15 with Jon K. This was my first visit and I finally got to experience this amazing place. I think that the kind of people who are willing to read these posts and make reservations would be willing to take pictures and send a text message following an encounter with trespassers/vandals. In other words, we could all serve as volunteers. I think that permitting responsible visitors to go up to the springs is the best way to have a presence there and discourage and report abuse.

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  8. Hi,

    I think it is an absolute travesty how some people disrespect the land and the owner of this fine natural wonder! My husband and brother in law have personally helped clear/haul/move wood and things for Mike and the main caretaker (sorry, can't now recall his name!) in the past, and when we do go up (which isn't very often since we're not nearby) we ALWAYS pack out a significant amount of other's trash. We will continue to do what we can to help when we are in the area, and if you wish we can provide reports on it's condition.

    You may reach either of us at monkeyjelloATcomcastDOTnet (our internet service is sporadic, so bear with us if we cannot immediately reply).

    Thank you for doing what you do... We're on your side!

    -Sue

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  9. Well, there aren't any 'main' caretakers yet . . . just Matt and myself as designated agents and a few other individuals who give of their time to help.

    To Preston: I agree that permitted visitors could provide another set of eyes. However until this immediate problem is solved we are going to keep Scenic off-limits to everyone and concentrate on catching the bad apples.

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  10. P.S. Keeping it closed makes it easier for law enforcement to assume everyone up there . . . or attempting to hike up the highway there, is planning on trespassing. Right now we need these heavy-handed presence.

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  11. Hi Matt & Rick,
    Thanks for the update. I hate reading about the vandalism and I hope these bad apples are caught soon. Too bad it's at the expense of closing the Springs. I started a Facebook page early last year about Scenic and have your page as a link (I hope that's ok?). Hopefully we can get a large team of volunteers to caught these disrespectful idiots! Keep up the good work and I'm really glad we finally have a formal permission/policy form and donation method in place.

    Marian

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  12. QUESTION: Why aren't you legally packing a firearm and also placing people under arrest, with a call to the local sheriff, when you catch them trespassing without permission? Once you catch a few, the word will spread like wildfire. Problem solved!

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