Matt will be giving a more thorough update but until we straighten out the vandalism over the New Year weekend we will not be giving permission for anyone to visit the hot springs. I realize that most of those wishing to visit are good people . . . unfortunately, a few miscreants have ruined it for everyone. Both myself and Matt . . . Bob and a few other volunteers will be paying surprise visits on the springs over the next few weeks and we will be kicking everyone out, regardless of your protests or asking after-the-fact. I am sick of the vandalism, Matt is sick of it . . . the owner is sick of it. We ask and ask and the trespassers still head on up and destroy the place.
Matt is in the process of talking to the Forest Service Law Enforcement officers at Skykomish about the damage to the Forest Service gate and the theft/destruction of the locks . . . government property and they are talking this latest case seriously.
There is broken glass all over the place up at the hot springs. Several large (45gal) contractor’s garbage bags were not enough to cart the mess out. There is damage to the linings of both pools, and there is evidence of more fires being made up at the springs. What part of ‘You’re irresponsible idiots’ don’t you folks get?
I will be giving out no more permission slips in the near future. And I guarantee that those I find up at the springs or on their way up will get turned around . . . or the deputy in Skykomish can come on by and earn his paycheck.
In the near future the gate the trail entrance and one or two other locations will be put under video surveillance. It is expensive but now necessary. You are under notice. Video will be used in prosecution if so needed.
Criminal trespass in the second degree.
(1) A person is guilty of criminal trespass in the second degree if he knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in or upon premises of another under circumstances not constituting criminal trespass in the first degree.
(2) Criminal trespass in the second degree is a misdemeanor.
This property has been posted and the present signs cannot be missed by anyone attempting to visit the springs. Willful violation, disregard and trespass is Criminal Trespass punishable by a $1,000 fine and/or 90 days in jail. Willful disregard of notice to leave or re-entering after being warned off is Criminal Trespass of the first degree with commensurately steeper penalties.
And those that damaged the Forest Service gate and the locks . . . be assured the Federal government takes a dim view of this type of vandalism and of vehicular trespass that if you are caught (we took pictures of the tire tracks), you will face Federal charges.
Everyone say ‘thank you’ to these miscreants. Scenic is closed!