Last Modified: Sunday, August 19, 2012 4:15 PM
ALEXANDRIA (AP) — The Kisatchie National Forest has seen its share of vandalism this summer.
Recreation program director Shanna Ellis tells the Town Talk (http://townta.lk/PmMTpf) vandalism in the forest seems to be worse than usual this year.
For example, she said someone blew up toilets on July 4, and graffiti has been a problem.
"It's discouraging when we worked so hard to get funding to provide our local people a place to go," Ellis said.
"We don't know what attracts this vandalism. About 99 percent of the people who come out there really respect what we have. Then 1 percent just doesn't care, and they're not going to care until they suffer the consequences."
In some cases that's paying a fine, and in others it's jail time. Sometimes the culprits must perform the repairs themselves. Kisatchie is a national forest, making these federal crimes with hefty penalties.
The park uses surveillance cameras where it can, but doesn't have the resources to pay for an extensive system.
Ellis, who is from Grant Parish, takes the damage personally.
"I grew up using this forest," she said. "I have a personal stake in this. That probably makes it worse."
Posted By: Doug On: 8/20/2012
Title: Make 'em Pay
When the vandals are caught they should be made to pay a certain amount EVERY WEEK, or go to jail for a good amount of time. This kind of foolishness should not be tolerated and severely punished.