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Vandalism spikes at Delmoe Lake campground

Published On: Aug 12 2013 06:11:46 PM MDT

The Forest Service says vandalism at a popular Butte area lake is costing them thousands of dollars.

Delmoe Lake is northeast of the Mining City.

There are a number of campsites around the lake.

The Forest Service tell us lately the area has become a popular party spot, and that's causing big problems.

Delmoe Lake is a favorite recreational site in the Butte area, but lately, it hasn't been much fun for some visitors.

Forest Service District Ranger Dave Sabo explained that there are an "increased amount of vandalism and people not observing the campground regulations and it's developed into a pretty unpleasant experience for people who want to take their family and kids up here."

Camper Kathlee Adkins has noticed, saying, ..."garbage, not cleaned bathrooms, nobody checking on them."

Adkins has been camping with her family since Tuesday. She said they've noticed a lot of issues with the campground.

"Beer bottles, stuff like that," she explained. "There's a lot of partiers that come out."

And those crazy parties can lead to a big mess in the morning.

"We just recently noticed we have concrete picnic tables that have been damaged," said Sabo. "We believe people took a sledge hammer or a large rock and actually were breaking the concrete."

The Forest Service says that replacing broken items can cost thousands of dollars.

Sabo said, "we run on fees generated here on the site and fees appropriated by Congress, which are your taxes, and when we have to put them into this over and over its a defeating battle. It's a waste of money."

Sabo said they're in a tough spot. The budget restrictions forced them to go without a full-time camp host this year, whose job is to help regulate the campground.

But he says there is still a forest service and police presence here.

"We try to make sure there's a presence," he said, "and make sure we remove the garbage and we look at the fee tubes for collection and that people paid a fee for that day."

But he said it's still tough to regulate, and they're asking the public for help.

"If people are visiting and they actually see vandalism and not following the rules they have, they can get on their cell phone and try to get some kind of description," he said. "If you can get a license number, you can call 911."

The Forest Service and fellow campers are hoping for some positive changes.

"It's supposed to be a quiet place," Adkins said.