Nails, barbed wire found on trail in Eagle
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Contact Eagle County Crime Stoppers by calling 970-328-7007 or call the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office at 970-328-8500.
EAGLE — Eric Pence finished his Sunday evening hike on an unnamed game trail with an “eerie” feeling.
Pence came across a portion of the trail, a popular spot in Eagle, that had been sabotaged with hidden nails and another spot with barbed wire crossing the trail.
Authorities have been notified, and the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office is working with Bureau of Land Management law enforcement officers, the Eagle Police Department and Eagle’s Open Space Department.
“Just be careful,” said Anne Pence, Eric’s wife, who went out hiking on the trail Tuesday. “It’s a bit unsettling when you’re out there. We don’t need the trail rage in Eagle. Everybody needs to be respectful of being out there. Hopefully they get to the bottom of this. It’s just not needed.”
Since the trail is on federal land, the sabotage is a federal offense and carries a “hefty” fine, said Amber Barrett, of the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office. If someone were to get hurt, then the penalty would involve charges from the police.
The nails were driven through a piece of wood and buried on the trail and the wire was strung across the trail, creating a risk for unsuspecting hikers, mountain-bikers, dogs and other wildlife.
Authorities initially said the sabotage occurred on the Dirt Surfer Trail but later determined it was an unnamed game trail.
There have been reports of trail sabotages on the Front Range, but not in Eagle County.
“None of us have seen any other issues like this recently in Eagle County,” Barrett said.
Barrett said authorities are investigating but they believe the sabotage might stem from a possible rift between trail users. Hunters, hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders all share the trail.
“Nobody purposefully intends to offend the other user,” Barrett said. “But it’s kind of what we’re suspecting is going on. We do take seriously malicious markings of the trail with barbed wire and nail tacks, and in return, we hope that people aren’t going to go out there and retaliate.”
Police also have received reports of possible sabotage on Red Neck Ridge Trail, too.
“Everybody be aware when you’re on the trails,” Barrett said. “Be cautious of what you’re coming up on and who you’re coming up on. If you see something, be the bigger person and be safe.”
Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.
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