Problems plaguing U.S. Forest Service land

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Trash troubles are plaguing U.S Forest Service lands, especially in areas like Old Stage Road just west of Colorado Springs.

Now, some people are speaking out about the problem hoping to prompt some community action.

Colorado Springs resident Tiffany Hinkle was out hiking in Forest Service land along Old Stage Road.

"We love our outdoor space, it's the community backyard,” said Hinkle. “It’s just so pretty though, why ruin it?”

She comes for the view but instead she saw something unpleasant.

“It’s trashed!” Hinkle said. “There is graffiti everywhere and you can't get clean pictures to send home to your family. And you can't let your dog out cause there is so much broken glass.”

The U.S. Forest Service said they try to handle the problem.

"We have a number of volunteers that help us tremendously with picking up trash. And it's a never ending battle. I hate to say that, but that is reality,” said Barbara Timock, with U.S. Forest Service Public Affairs. “Over and over and over throughout the year so it's a matter of changing behavior.”

Now, Hinkle and other locals are calling for community action.

There is another problem that Forest Service officials will be cracking down on – recreational shooting.

There are posted signs on Forest Service land that say “No Shooting” that are riddled with bullet holes.There's even a map that points shooters where the designated shooting areas are.

Because many people aren't following the rules, Forest Service officials plan to increase patrols in those areas.

Some designated areas where shooting is allowed are temporarily closed for those wanting to cut Christmas trees.

Officials ask everyone to be aware, so nobody gets hurt.

“Recreational shooting is essentially open year-round but there are designated areas that are closed because we have determined the area is not safe as a shooting area,” said Timock.

“There are places to shoot you shouldn't have to worry about getting shot, like hiking or getting a Christmas tree,” Hinkle said.

For all the regulations on recreational shooting click here.

Read more on Christmas tree cutting rules here.

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