Alaska Braces for Fall Campground Thefts
Fall is coming fast to Alaska. Campground hosts are departing Kenai Peninsula facilities for warmer places to the south. And the riffraff are coming out of hiding, the Alaska Dispatch reports
With the watchful eyes of seasonal volunteers disappearing from the Peninsula, Irene Lindquist with the Chugach National Forest is warning of a rash of vandalism at park trailheads along both the Seward and Sterling highways south of Anchorage.
People who have left vehicles parked overnight, Lindquist said, have returned from camping or hiking to discover "broken windows, valuables stolen, gas tanks drilled and emptied of fuel."
In response, patrols have been increased by the Alaska State Troopers, Chugach rangers, who police much of the eastern Kenai Peninsula, and Kenai National Wildlife Refuge rangers, who cover most of the west side of the peninsula.
But, Lindquist added, "damage is still occurring."
The worst of it, she said, has focused around the Carter Lake, Johnson Pass, and Devil's Creek trailheads in the Tern Lake area, about 90 road miles from Anchorage. She warned, however, that with the fee station at the Russian River campground set to close at the end of the weekend problems are likely to crop up there, too.
This, she said, "seems to happen in the fall," thus illustrating that though Alaska might be home to the best and friendliest people in America, there are still some scumbags living on the edge of the Last Frontier.