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Trash, paintball marks, squatters unwelcome sights in Illahee Forest
One of the countys parks is losing ground to vandals and squatters.
Approximately 20 paintball enthusiasts were playing in the forest Sunday, according to Illahee Forest steward Irwin Krigsman. When they were informed paintball was not allowed, the response was: Theres no sign posted that says we cant.
Also, he said, Two new roads were pushed through to the center of the woods, and all sorts of garbage was strewn about. Until the proposed gate is placed at the Thompson Lane entrance, theres no real point for (county crews) and other volunteers to continue clean-up efforts, since it appears were right back where we started.
Krigsman said the county promised to erect No Paintball signs. The stewards are also waiting for an electronic-access gate at another entrance which Dori Leckner, special projects coordinator for county parks, said, will be installed this spring.
The contract (to build) the gate has been let by the county, added Krigsman. The gate will be at Thompson Lane N.E. and N.E. Riddell Road. Thompson serves as an easement to a small, private residential development inside the parks boundaries.
Jim Aho, president of the stewards, said five homeless tents were found recently. The park is not equipped for over-night stays.
Some of those in the encampments were still working, he said, adding that many were just down-on-their-luck and couldnt afford an apartment. It was not easy telling them to move on.
Americorps was notified of the squatters.