REDMOND, Ore. - The Bureau of Land Management turned to the public for help Monday in hopes of finding the vandals who tore down, shot and ran over signs at a trailhead in the Cline Buttes Recreation Area west of Redmond late last week.
Last Thursday or Friday, the vandals shot up and stole numerous signs and damaged the restroom at the newly established North Barr Trailhead, officials said. It provides access to the recently designated Central Motorized OHV riding area, near the junction of Highway 126 and Barr Road.
The trailhead and trails are part of a multiple-use recreation area created by the BLM and many community volunteer groups over the past year.
"This is more than just a loss in money," said Mona Drake, a member of Deschutes County 4-Wheelers and the Pacific NW 4-Wheeler Association. "This is a loss in uncountable hours for volunteers to work with the BLM, attend meetings, help plan and finally get on the ground to build these trails for everyone to enjoy."
After many years of planning, the North Barr Trailhead underwent a major renovation this year, and most of the signs and kiosks were installed this past spring. One kiosk was only installed a month ago.
"It's very disappointing," said Molly Brown, Deschutes field manager for the BLM. "We've worked hard with our partners to make this an enjoyable, user-friendly place to recreate. By removing the information and directional signs, the vandals have made it harder for people to come here -- as a neighbor or someone coming in from the Valley -- and have a safe riding experience."
While the damage assessment is still ongoing, BLM officials estimate at least $1,500 in replacement costs for the materials and labor.
"Whoever did this doesn't understand that they didn't just waste taxpayer dollars," said Drake. "This is all of our investment – for us and for the young people who will be out there next."
BLM law enforcement officers are investigating the incident. Anyone with information about the vandalism is urged to call the Prineville BLM at (541) 416-6700.
Information about the Central Motorized Trail Use area in the Cline Buttes Recreation Area can be found on the Prineville BLM website at http://www.blm.gov/or/districts/prineville/recreation/cline/central.php