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Manti LaSal
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Utah Forest Service says camping violations up as some overstay their welcome

The U.S. Forest Service is investigating a string of fires that sparked near Sanpete County between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. Sunday. (Credit Manti-LaSal National Forest Facebook)

PRICE, Utah—  You’ve heard that more people in Utah are leaving behind the trappings (and virus) in the city and hitting the great outdoors for some camping.  An official at the Manti-LaSal National Forest says with that increase, “comes a rise in the rules not being followed.”

Samantha Stoffregen says it’s mainly two violations.  “Campers not abiding by a 14 day limit in the location that they are camping, and camping equipment being left unattended for more than 72 hours.”

The first is pretty clear:  You can only be in the same spot for a couple weeks, then you have to move.  That doesn’t mean you have to leave the forest, just find a new site. 

Stoffregen says the second is an attempt to bogart a spot. “So people, for example, will take their camper up on a Monday, kinda claim their spot, leave.  [Then they will] go back to their house for the week, go to work and whatever, then go back to the camper on a Friday.”  She says they’ll camp the weekend, and then the whole cycle starts again.

It’s not just happening in the Manti-LaSal Forest. The Utah Forest Service says rangers in the Unita-Wasatch-Cache Forest have been seeing these camping violations, too. 

Stoffregen says they are stepping up patrols.  Forest Service employees have been asked to pay closer attention to campsites, and if they find a violation or someone getting close to a violation, they’ll get a notice.  Stoffregen says the notice is not a ticket. However, if the reminder to follow the rules is ignored, Forest Service will turn the issue over to law enforcement.


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