I am writing in support of the Forest Service personnel who had the unpopular job of evicting Tess Johnson and her son from their forest homestead. It is the job of the Forest Service to enforce the laws of our forests and it is not left up to their discretion to be selective as to who should obey them.
Tess Johnson and her son are the exception rather than the rule as far as forest squatters are concerned, and that's why you can't help but feel sorry for them. I do a lot of hiking in the forests, and unfortunately the abandoned squatters' sites I have run across have been totally trashed with enough trash to fill several pickup trucks.
It's a sickening sight and the Forest Service doesn't have the manpower to clean up after them. This land has been set aside for everyone to enjoy and use, and you leave it like you found it for the next person to enjoy. I don't fear attacks from wild animals, but I would be very fearful of approaching a squatter's campsite. We are extremely lucky to have uninhabited wilderness to enjoy. As the government sells off more and more of this land, will future generations have the same privilege?
Wayne Donnay, Payson