Many folks are beginning to make plans for outdoor activities, and that’s causing concern among some law enforcement officials in Lackawanna County.
They said the Montage Mountain area is not as safe as it should be.
So, authorities are vowing to step up enforcement.
The woods behind the Toyota Pavilion in Moosic are a mess. Police said campers have left behind piles of garbage and the charred remains of their campfires, and they said it’s happening all over Montage Mountain.
Lackawanna County Sheriff’s deputies and forestry officials took a look at all the damage. They believe it is being caused by ATV riders.
They said the riders get to the remote spots through a network of trails. Which is a problem, because most of the mountain is private property.
“There could be some fines, suspended jail sentence, and if you get caught again you could go to jail. And the fines are pretty stiff,” said Lackawanna County District Attorney Andrew Jarbola.
Law enforcement officials said there will not only be more cops around Montage Mountain. The County also plans to put blockades in front of the most heavily used ATV trails.
Police said the stepped up enforcement is mainly to prevent wildfires from happening. Officials want to prevent campers from starting wildfires in the growing Montage Mountain area.
“Because we have more development here we now have the wildlife urban interface. We have more homes and businesses here in the last ten years since this area’s been really developed,” said District Forester Nicholas Lylo.
Police from several different departments and Lackawanna County Sheriff’s Deputies will start increased patrols on Montage Mountain this week.