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WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30, 2011, 8:45 A.M.

Stop government waste: rat on a vandal

PUBLIC LANDS -- When I hear the term government waste, I can't help but think about the taxpayer money needed to clean up after the low life that finds recreation in destroying public property, such as mudding meadows and shooting up outhouses.

Bitterroot National Forest officials say vandals last week caused $15,000 in damage by destroying five picnic tables.

The officials in Missoula said the tables were flipped over and left lying upside down on the beach near the swimming area. Each table weighs between 500 and 600 pounds and has concrete legs.

Bitterroot National Forest Supervisor Julie King said in a statement Monday that forest officials spend more than $25,000 each year replacing and repairing damage caused by vandals and picking up illegal trash.

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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