ATVs & 4x4 vehicles tearing up Wenas Wildlife

ATVs & 4x4 vehicles tearing up Wenas Wildlife
SELAH -- The beauty of nature being is intentionally being destroyed at the Wenas Wildlife Area. In some cases, the damage irreversible.
Efforts to repair it can be costly.

"Money well spent? I don't think so," said Morgan Grant, Fish and Wildlife Sergeant.

Grant spends time patrolling the Wenas Wildlife Area. He says as temperatures have gone up, so have the number of brazen drivers on ATVs and 4-wheel-drive vehicles.

However, upon entry to the Wenas Wildlife Area, the signs make it clear. The roads shown in green are the only areas where you can drive.
But officers say it's becoming all too common to see drivers on precious wildlife land.

We found a makeshift path that drivers started to use. They deliberately cut off the road. Grant says once a person leaves their mark, others will follow.

"There are two or three people who did it, lets see if I can do it better than what they did, and pretty soon we're gonna have a cut going up
through this natural area," Grant said.

Morgan says beginning this weekend, there will be an emphasis to catch those irresponsible drivers.

There will be more officers aggressively patrolling this area. If they see someone off the road, that person will get slapped with a fine.

"Instead of doing something in a positive effect for our wildlife, we have to use it because somebody was irresponsible and did damage on our state fish and wildlife lands," Grant said.

In addition to the added patrols, there will be extra repairs and prevention. Rocks and boulders will be brought in to prevent future drivers from driving off-road.

"That's maintenance. Those dollars have to come from somewhere," Grant said.

A place meant for responsible recreation turned into a waste of resources.