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Ranger district seeks information on vandalism in Caribou-Targhee National Forest

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Recent damage at a warming shelter in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest includes a shot out window, illegal road construction and significant soil and ground disturbance. , according to the Soda Springs Ranger District. (Courtesy of James Vawser/U.S. Forest Service)

The Trail Canyon Warming Shelter in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest was vandalized just a few months after the facility experienced previous vandalism and volunteers worked to rehab the site, according to a Soda Springs Ranger District press release.

The district reports that a window was shot out, and illegal road construction and significant soil and ground disturbances occurred in the area.

“It’s incredibly disheartening to see the disrespect some individuals have for public resources,” said Bryan Fuell, Soda Springs district ranger.

In August, a group of volunteers spent a significant amount of time at the Trail Canyon Warming Shelter assisting the U.S. Forest Service in repairing damage to the Idaho facility and providing some much-needed maintenance, according to the release. The Trail Canyon Volunteers worked with a local business to replace all four windows. One of those windows was purposely broken, according to the release.

The facility has seen its share of vandalism through the years, the release said, including bullet holes and damage to the doors and vault toilet by axes and sledgehammers.

“It’s frustrating to keep investing money and volunteer hours into a site that continues to see vandalism from a few bad actors,” Fuell said.

The Trail Canyon Warming Shelter also includes a restroom and multiple picnic tables with fire rings. The site is the product of three decades of community involvement and partnerships, the release said. It offers a large trailhead and parking area to support summer opportunities and winter motorized and non-motorized programs, including four groomed non-motorized Nordic ski trails.

The district is seeking information about the vandalism. Anyone who witnessed the damage or has information regarding this most recent incident is encouraged to contact the ranger district at 208-547-4356 or the Caribou County Sherriff’s Office at 208-547-2561.

The Idaho Capital Sun is a nonprofit news organization delivering accountability reporting on state government, politics and policy in the Gem state.