South Lake Tahoe, Calif. – During a night operation last weekend, U.S. Forest Service officers cited four local men for riding snowmobiles in the Freel Peak/High Meadows closure area on the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU). While on patrol, officers observed fresh snowmobile tracks passing directly underneath closure signs and subsequently encountered the riders. One rider fled the scene, abandoning his snowmobile, which was towed and impounded.
The four snowmobilers, residents of South Lake Tahoe, received mandatory notices to appear before the federal magistrate in Sacramento. The violation can result in a fine of not more than $5,000, imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.
“Respecting closures helps protect natural resources and reduces conflicts between snowmobilers and other winter users,” said LTBMU public affairs officer Cheva Heck. “Enforcement of closed areas plays a critical role in the Forest Service winter recreation program in the Lake Tahoe Basin.”
Free maps explaining snowmobiling opportunities in the Lake Tahoe Basin are available from the Forest Supervisor’s Office, 35 College Drive, South Lake Tahoe, Calif., by calling (530) 543-2694, or on the LTBMU’s website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/ltbmu/recreation/wintersports.