Sunday, 16 June 2024

Officials crack down on south county trespass issues

HIDDEN VALLEY LAKE – Local law enforcement officials are cracking down on trespassing on private lands near Hidden Valley Lake.

Past complaints of vehicular trespass in the Putah Creek area of Hidden Valley Lake have prompted assertive enforcement measures to stop the random misuse and frequent destruction of privately owned, unoccupied lands, according to Capt. James Bauman of the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

Bauman said deputies have been focusing patrols on private lands to the east of Highway 29 on both sides of Hartmann Road near Putah Creek for the past two months.

Thus far, only verbal warnings have been issued to off-highway vehicle (OHV) operators and pedestrian trespassers, Bauman said.

Those contacted during the two-month “grace period” have respectfully complied with requests to leave the properties, he added.

However, beginning this month, Bauman said those found trespassing will now be subject to arrest, citation or criminal complaint.

Bauman said the sheriff's office and the state Department of Fish and Game will work together with absentee land owners to abate the Hartmann Road and Putah Creek areas in the coming months.

He said the sheriff's office further advises all off-road motor sports enthusiasts to enjoy their recreation without violating the law by using designated OHV use areas such as the Cow Mountain Recreational area, designated areas of the Mendocino National Forest, and the newly opened Oasis Motocross track in Clearlake Oaks.

OHV enthusiasts must otherwise comply with the provisions set forth by state law and county ordinance when enjoying their sport on private property, Bauman said.

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