Forest officials warn about objects intentionally placed on trails

New Mexico

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Forest officials are warning people after they received reports that someone is placing objects along some popular New Mexico hiking trails. 

Hikers and bikers using the trails just south of the popular Cienega Picnic Area need to watch their step. After the Cibola National Forest received reports of objects being intentionally placed along the trails just last week.

 “It’s dangerous, it’s disrespectful to not only the mountain but to the people that use these trails, that ride these trails,” said Leroy Gonzales. “It would be super sad if there are people out there who are trying to harm other individuals out here.”

So what are the objects being placed throughout the trails?

“The objects are just simply things that were found out in the forest,” said Kerry Wood, the Trails & Wilderness Manager with the Cibola National Forest. “Logs and rocks and they were placed on the trail and arranged in ways. Providing a dangerous place for someone to hit.” 

Staff with the Cibola National Forest said those logs and rocks can lead to serious injury, and this isn’t the first time someone has placed hazards along the trails. Forest officials say they get reports like this a couple of times every year with one incident seriously injuring a biker. 

“We had an individual almost lose his eye many, many years ago due to someone stringing a wire across a trail,” said Wood. “The individual that did that was actually caught.”   

He said it’s tough to catch someone in the act. So all rangers can really do, is post signs warning people. If you do see something sinister going on, you’re asked to report it to your local district. 

The Forest Service said if you are caught intentionally placing objects on trails you could be fined up to $500. If the incident leads to injury you could face jail time. 

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