Friday, July 22, 2016

Gobblers Knob Historic Lookout Vandalized

A few days ago I visited the Gobblers Knob lookout. The view was amazing, but the experience was spoiled by the discovery of damage to the beautiful, historic lookout by malicious vandals.

To gain entry they first tried breaking the locks at the bottom of the door.

Then they tried to kick the door in.

And finally they decided to smash the window and climb in, apparently breaking the upper window of the door, either by accident or out of malice.

The interior didn’t appear to have been vandalized – at least in any way I could tell, so it seems likely that this crime was committed so that the perpetrators could sleep in the lookout. It had rained the night prior, so I guess they might have done it in order to shelter from the storm, but there’s an open shelter just 1.4 miles distant at Lake George, and anyone out camping on that day should have been expecting rain. Whatever the circumstances, this was a careless, stupid, and malicious act - the excessive amount of damage caused to gain entry proves this. Unfortunately, the chances of the perpetrators being caught are most likely slim to none. Hopefully, the lookout will be repaired soon; it is sad indeed to see this beautiful structure defaced.

My guess is that those responsible for the damage came from outside the park via the National Forest and Glacier View Wilderness. The maze of old logging roads have less oversight than is found in the park, and fewer people hiking on the trails there would have made it easy for them to come and go unnoticed. In the immediate future, I suggest hiding motion-sensing cameras at the lookout, but in the long term a more permanent solution to easy access by future vandals is needed. The Park needs to be expanded to include lands to the west of its boundaries; this would dissuade criminals from utilizing the area, and would allow the park to keep a closer eye on the roads and trails there. 

I am currently working on an article outlining what such an expansion of the park boundaries might look like, and will put a link here when I publish it.