On a routine winter patrol, Powder River Ranger District officials discovered over 100 trees carved with deep one-foot-sized arrows. District recreation staff member Craig Cope says very rarely has he seen such large-scale vandalizing of trees. And, he says, it was completely unnecessary.
“There’s much more minimum impact ways of route finding through the woods,” Cope says, “from G-P-S to the nylon ribbon flagging that you can put up temporarily and take down when you’re done.”
Cope says that cutting through the bark into the living layer underneath opens the tree up to disease and pests, and can eventually kill it.
Defacing trees is considered a federal crime and the fine can be six-thousand dollars. He says anyone with more information about the tree damage is encouraged to call the Bighorn National Forest.