Vandals hit scenic vistas

A park ranger confirmed that scenic vistas have been repeatedly ‘tagged’ or vandalized in Bald Eagle State Forest and elsewhere in his district.

LAURELTON — A forest ranger confirmed that vandalism in Bald Eagle State Forest has been a persistent problem.

Ranger Clyde Onavage, based near Laurelton, said rocks at scenic vista sites have reportedly been tagged with paint on a number of occasions.

“Pretty much all of our vistas have been tagged at one time or another,” Onavage said. “It is an ongoing issue through the whole district.”

The most recently tagged vista was along Jones Mountain Road. The area was accessible by taking a road off of Route 192 east of a tavern in the Forest Hill area.

Onavage said his district stretches from near Lewistown to New Columbia, as well as from parts of Snyder County to north of Lock Haven. It includes forest and state park land.

“I don’t know why they are doing it,” he added of the most recent vandalism. “I actually had cameras up there last year.”

 The terrain makes it difficult to place a camera which could identify whoever is responsible for the damage.

“That vista is a really hard place to try and conceal a camera,” he said. “Compared to a lot of other vistas, a lot of the banks are high. Usually we try to place cameras on the ground instead of in the trees.”

A camera was stolen, Onavage said, which precluded putting more cameras in place. Without cameras, he said he’d try to talk to people who frequent the vista areas.

“A lot these things go on at night,” Onavage added. “We’re not ‘24-7’ around the clock because of manpower.”

Resources are scarce, he observed, and noted that only three officers were available for patrol during a typical week.

Getting the word out was helpful as well as alerting local police. Onavage requested checking the Bald Eagle Forest Facebook page or calling 570-922-3344 if a person has more information.

Staff Writer Matt Farrand can be reached at 570-742-9671 and via email at matt@standard-journal.com.

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