By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A man has been found guilty in federal court in Wyoming of living in a national forest that borders the state.
In August, the U.S. Forest Service received multiple complaints regarding a long-term campsite managed by the Caribou-Targhee National Forest in Idaho.
Law enforcement investigated the complaint and found an unattended campfire, several dilapidated vehicles, trailer homes and extensive garbage scattered throughout the area.
“The trailers were parked haphazardly throughout the trees and brush, causing extensive resource damage,” said Rayce Angell, USFS Patrol Captain.
USFS officers were able to contact an adult male at the campsite, who admitted to living in the forest and acknowledged all the items were his. He was issued three federal citations.
Two weeks later, the officers came across the same man at a different location in the forest. He acknowledged that he was continuing to live in the forest and was trying to sell his belongings.
An officer issued additional federal citations to the man.
In October, the man, who was not identified by the Forest Service, was found guilty of three misdemeanor citations: residing on forest lands, leaving a campfire unattended and leaving a campsite in unsanitary conditions.
The man was banned from being on or engaging in any activity on both Caribou-Targhee National Forest and Bridger-Teton National Forest for five years.
He was also placed on probation for a length of five years and fined $800.
Federal violations are pending for an adult female who was with the male at one of the campsites.
Taking up residence on national forest system lands and/or facilities is illegal. The USFS appreciates members of the public for reporting violations and urges individuals to continue to report any suspicious or illegal activity on their public lands.