No arrests made yet for Prince Creek trail sabotage

Staff report

The Bureau of Land Management has been unable thus far to find out who sabotaged trails in the Prince Creek network on June 15, but the investigation remains open, a spokesman said Monday.

A recreation planner with the agency met with members of the local mountain-biking community shortly after the incident on business that was previously planned, according to BLM spokesman David Boyd. That planner clarified where the trails were sabotaged and forwarded the information to a law enforcement officer with the agency, Boyd said.

Two boards riddled with nails were placed on trails — one on Creekside and another on Skillsaw. They were covered with dirt and pine needles on the narrow, single-track trails. An observant rider spotted and removed the hazards. No one was reported injured.

Word of the sabotage spread quickly among mountain bikers. Boyd said he couldn’t discuss the investigation in any detail, but the publicity led to further information being shared with BLM officials. “They got a few calls,” he said.

There haven’t been prior problems over trail use in the popular Prince Creek network. The BLM’s primary law enforcement activity there has been citing or warning people for camping too long. It’s a popular spot, Boyd said in an earlier interview, because it is rural but close to Carbondale.

The BLM requires campers to relocate at least 30 miles away after occupying one site for 14 days. However, problems with squatters in Prince Creek spurred the agency to place a seven-day limit there.

The booby traps on the trails will continue to draw BLM law enforcement officers to the Prince Creek area, Boyd said.

“It certainly necessitates continued patrolling,” he said. “We’re just keeping our eyes open.”