Tell City, IN– The Hoosier National Forest, will close some of the facilities at the Saddle Lake Boat Ramp due to vandalism. The Forest reports a rash of vandalism at the Saddle Lake Boat Ramp. This has been an ongoing problem at this area, as well as other areas including Springs Valley and Birdseye trailhead.
Most recently at Saddle Lake boat ramp, the metal information signs, the bulletin board by the lake, and the restroom have all been targeted by vandals, as well as the stairs leading down from the boat ramp parking lot to the lake. The restroom has been repeatedly shot at, causing considerable damage both inside the restroom and out, and exterior siding has been torn off the restroom building. The stairs have been pulled off the riser by illegal all-terrain vehicle use, making access to the restroom from the lake more difficult for visitors to the area.
This ongoing vandalism has required Hoosier National Forest employees to continually make repairs to the restroom, stairs, and signs. These expenses require tax payer money be diverted from other necessary improvements. This has forced local Forest Service officials to make hard choices regarding the Saddle Lake boating site.
Chris Zimmer, Acting Tell City District Ranger, has authorized the immediate closure and removal of the restroom facility at the Saddle Lake boat ramp. He said “Unfortunately, in the face of declining budgets, we can no longer afford to continually make repairs to vandalized facilities such as this restroom. A few vandals have effectively forced the removal of the toilet facility in this location, which affects all the law abiding visitors to the site.”
Meanwhile, this situation also means that law enforcement will be conducting more frequent patrols in this area and violators caught will be punished to the full extent allowed. Law Enforcement Officer Donald Kidd stated “People should be aware that these violations carry a punishment of up to six months in prison and/or up to a $5,000 fine for destruction of government property and damage to natural resources.”
If anyone has any information about the vandalism that has been occurring at the Saddle Lake boat ramp, please contact Officer Kidd at (414)232-8093 or the Tell City Office at 812-547-7051.