You know . . . whenever I post onto the blog I’m always hoping to be posting positive things, like good trip reports, some thoughtful action by a visitor, good things about the hot springs, themselves. But it seems that we have problems with late night visitors and trespassers once again.
Sometime Saturday night, the feeds and piping feeding the Bear Den pool were damaged. The main piping leading into the pool was removed and seemingly has disappeared (probably tossed down the slope just out of sight). The result was that Bear Den was not getting any water and that the water from the damaged end of the feed was running downhill and eroding the slope.
A temporary jerry-rig has been set up so that erosion is controlled and the feeds once more go into the pool . . . thanks to Joe for taking initiative and letting us know what was going on. One of us is going to have to take a day off from work tomorrow to go up there, assess the damage, and figure out how to repair the piping.
We spoke to a permitted visitor from Saturday and he informed us that when they were coming down just before sunset, they ran into a group of seven headed on up. So here’s the problem . . . if we’d known probable trespassers were headed up to the springs at that time of day, we probably would have headed that way ourselves and kicked them out before any damage was done.
Sooooo . . . a request of those who have been given permission to visit the hot springs. If you see a group heading in like this (particularly if it is large and obviously too late to be a day visit), give Matt or myself a call. Don’t confront anyone . . . educate if you can. Note the vehicles parked at the gate . . . get pictures (with license plates) if you can. And then call us so that we can do something about it. When we get lucky we can sometimes catch their faces on the one remaining trail cam to identify them . . . but that is always after-the-fact. We need your help. These trespassers only hurt the situation for the rest of us, and may end up getting the hot springs closed.
The following threat is probably going to fall on deaf ears because I doubt the vandals and trespassers bother to read this blog. But here goes anyway:
Scenic is private property and we have the legal right to defend and protect that property. If either Matt or myself have to respond to trespassers on the property we will not bother to hike up to the springs to ask you to leave anymore. We will simply call law enforcement as soon as you are spotted on the property and have you arrested for First Degree Criminal Trespass (RCW 9A.52.070) at the most inopportune time (the last time deputies were just aching to head on up to the springs and ‘bust some heads’) or we will wait for you come back down. Either way, you are going to be arrested. Scenic is posted No Trespassing, Private Property . . . there are six separate signs so stating that. You cannot miss those signs and tearing them off the trees to pretend ignorance is not a defense. Knowingly entering posted private property and remaining on that property makes it First Degree Criminal Trespass . . . up to 90 days in jail and/or a $10,000 fine.
By the way, the BPA maintenance roads are NOT public right of ways. The BPA (and no one else) has a granted easement through the property but it still remains private, posted property to anyone else except permitted individuals.
Anyone caught tampering, modifying and/or damaging the tangible property on Scenic Hot Springs will also have felony charges pressed under RCW 4.24.630, Damage to Land and Property. We will press those charges on anyone found on the property without permission and/or vandalizing Scenic. No more warnings . . . you’ve had enough opportunity to be responsible adults