BUTTE-Residents in Butte were upset after people left trash all over a popular camping and riding area off of Homestake Pass.

The residents say people were squatting there on Forest Service land.

A few Butte residents were upset after they say people that were living illegally on Forest Service land left mounds of trash behind after abandoning the area a few weeks back. A few residents then spent five hours on Wednesday cleaning up the mess which included clothes, roller skates and used cigarettes.

Beaverhead-Deer Lodge National Forest Service staff says they have a 16 day occupancy rule on their lands. Staff says they try and patrol the lands as much as possible but there are thousands of acres.

Staff says they need the public's help to clean up after themselves and report illegal activity. "We really appreciate having the public be a part of taking care of the National Forest, caring for what’s going on and letting us know what’s going on because no one can be every place every time," said Jocelyn Dodge with the Beaverhead-Deer Lodge National Forest.

Dodge says they've seen an increase in people living on the land or exceeding occupancy rules. Dodge encourages people to call their district office to report squatters or trash.

The Forest Service investigates those incidents and then determines the fines for those found responsible.

News For You