Danger for off-roaders in the Burro Mountains - Eco-terrorists trying to hurt people with off-road areas strewn with nails, wires, says ATVer

June 30, 2004

By Jim Owen
The Silver City Daily Press

300 West Market Street

Silver City, New Mexico 88061



Driving all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles in the Burro Mountains has become more dangerous because of hazards someone is putting on trails.

Off-roaders in the Gila National Forest southwest of Silver City recently have encountered nails, wires and large rocks "strategically placed" in an apparent attempt to injure people, according to Dave Donaldson, owner of Copper Country ATV & Cycle of Silver City.

"These are ecoterrorists," he said. "They're basically trying to kill somebody."

Donaldson told the Daily Press that a Burro Mountain Homestead resident found a board measuring about 10 inches by 20 inches, with "big stakes holding it in the ground and about 100 nails sticking up from it."

"It was on a single-track trail that horses and cows and everything else uses," Donaldson said.

He also described a wire he and his brother found strung across a trail.
About 50 pounds of roofing nails were spread on another trail, on Jack's Peak, just before a Tour of the Gila bicycle race, according to Donaldson.

"They were the nails with plastic heads, so when you throw them on the ground, they stick up," he said. "Some of them have also been put on trails at the south end of the Burros."

In addition, someone "stacked big boulders on trails, just around corners so you can't see them until you are (too close to avoid them)," Donaldson reported.

"That goes on quite often. They're just trying to hurt people and be malicious," he said.

Donaldson argued that the Gila "is a multi-use forest," where off-road vehicles are legal.

He noted that motor vehicles are not allowed in the Gila Wilderness, so hikers and others can use those trails without encountering off-roaders.

Donaldson acknowledged "it's hard for the Forest Service" to catch whoever is sabotaging trails because "there's so much area to cover and so few law-enforcement officers out there."

However, he added: "I don't think (Gila National Forest personnel) have taken it too seriously."

Delbert Griego, a staff officer on the forest, indicated that is not the case.

He said the agency is 'concerned' about the incidents and 'hopes to' identify whoever is responsible.

Copyright 2004, The Daily Press.


Dave Donaldson, owner
Copper Country ATV & Cycle
505 North Hudson
Silver City, New Mexico 88061
ccatvktm@yahoo.com or 505-538-8903

Gerry Engel gengel@fs.fed.us or
Delbert Griego dgriego@fs.fed.us
3005 E. Camino del Bosque
Silver City, NM 88061
505-388-8201 or TTY: 505-388-8497
Fax: 505-388-8204

Other sites for forest-related information:



The Silver City Daily Press

300 West Market Street

Silver City, New Mexico 88061




In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. [Ref. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml]

Back to Current Edition Citizen Review Archive LINKS Search This Site