I know a retired couple who, for the past few years, has spent their winter camping in their 5th wheel along the South Fork of the Clearwater. For some unknown reason, the Forest Service LEO [law enforcement officer] has harassed them continuously about how long they are in one spot. I understand the 14-day limit and all that. But I have yet to see, or hear of, any big lineup for dispersed camping spots in the middle of winter.

The previous LEO would only stop to harass when the husband’s truck was gone and the wife’s car was there. He was transferred to a different office this past fall, but felt it important to show the new officer the territory. He made a special point to stop at the retired couple’s campsite and asked them how long they had been there. Well, Jan. 5, the new LEO stopped to tell them they had better be gone or Tuesday he would cite them. In addition to this he felt compelled to issue a warning that if he saw empty beer cans in her car he would cite her for that. Beer cans not littering the campsite, but collected for disposal.

As a retired Forest Service employee, I am embarrassed and ashamed of the harassment being perpetrated on this couple. They have always kept their campsite neat and clean and have been courteous to fellow campers and visitors. Shame on you, Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests.

Marie Hayhurst

Elk City

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