Clinch Ranger District, George Washington & Jefferson National Forests
Norton, Va. July 27, 2021—The USDA Forest Service George Washington and Jefferson National Forests have recently seen an increase in graffiti and trash at High Knob Observation Tower in Wise County near Norton, Virginia. The tower stands atop High Knob and is a popular visitor destination that provides views of five states from the observation platform: Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky and West Virginia.
Vandals have left graffiti and inattentive visitors have left trash multiple times at the tower this summer. For example, on July 22, Forest Service personnel discovered new graffiti just one day after they had removed and painted over older vandalism. “We need your help to prevent this damage to public resources that is happening on a weekly basis,” says Brandon Olinger, district recreation manager for the Clinch Ranger District. “Help us by both discouraging vandalism and reporting vandalism when you see it. If you see something, say something.”
To report activities that are damaging public lands, call the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests Law Enforcement Office at 276-679-8370 extension 225. Purposely damaging public resources could result in fines of up to $5,000 and up to six months in jail. “The George Washington and Jefferson National Forests connect people to a diversity of outdoor recreational opportunities through 2,160 miles of trails, 200 developed recreation areas, and vast hunting, fishing, camping and educational experiences,” says Michelle Davalos, district ranger for the Clinch Ranger District. “These public lands and opportunities are yours to enjoy. We need your help taking care of these special places, such as High Knob, so that we can continue to provide high-quality recreation opportunities for everyone.”
The Forest Service manages recreation opportunities on the Clinch Ranger District at four campgrounds, over 100 miles of hiking trails, four lakes, and many rivers and streams for whitewater kayaking and fishing. The Clinch Ranger District includes the iconic High Knob Tower in Wise County, and the Birch Knob Observation Tower in Dickenson County.
For more information, please contact the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests at 540-265-5100, visit our website www.fs.fed.us/r8/gwj, or follow us on twitter: https://twitter.com/GWJNF1.