Law enforcement rangers are searching for members of a 50-person group that laid down an illegal 1,000-foot dirt bike track through a historic Mormon Row hayfield. The hayfield was in the process of being rehabilitated with native grass and sagebrush.
Teton Interagency Dispatch took a call about the off-road escapades at 8:45 p.m. Saturday. The reporting party took a cellphone video of the group, which was also illegally flying a drone.
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National Park Service investigators are looking for information related to activities that caused significant resource damage along historic Mormon Row in Grand Teton National Park recently. Anyone with information that could help identify any of the individuals involved or was in the area around 8 p.m. on July 18 and can provide any information regarding this activity, please call or text the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch Tip Line at 888-653-0009 or email email@example.com. Information can be provided anonymously. For more information: https://www.nps.gov/grte/learn/news/group-causes-significant-damage-to-historic-hay-field.htm?fbclid=IwAR048EgwnAZfIBxBiJ9QcFl_msjwXLwyXqYhg66Tv7xK64gzGxe4yeh5K00
“The group began to break down the course and load the mini bikes as the reporting party called the park and recorded their activities,” Teton park officials said Wednesday in a press statement. “Park rangers immediately responded to the scene, but the group already left the area.”
In their wake was the nearly quarter-mile track, which ranged from 2 to 10 feet wide and reportedly caused significant resource damage.
The track cut through a historic hayfield used by Jackson Hole settlers that’s in the process of being restored to a more natural state. The area damaged by the dirt bikes was reseeded in 2019, according to the park’s statement.
Taking a motor vehicle off-road in a national park can net a $5,000 fine and jail time. The offending party is also potentially on the hook to pay for response costs and resource damages.
The National Park Service’s Investigative Services Branch is assisting with the case and is looking for information about the identity of any individuals who were in the Mormon Row area around 8 p.m. on July 18.
Call or text the tip line at 888-653-0009 or email information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Tips can be anonymous.