AHSAHKA, Idaho – When U.S. Army Corps of Engineers park rangers discovered vandalism at the Little Meadow Creek ATV Camp along Dworshak Reservoir in June 2014, they knew it could be quite some time before they could make repairs.
The lock on the traffic-counter box was cut and the unit was stolen. The camp entrance sign and bathroom door were riddled with bullet holes. The damage to facilities, including replacement of the traffic counter were expected to exceed $1,000.
“Unexpected costs like that just weren’t in the budget,” said Paul Pence, natural resources manager at Dworshak Dam and Reservoir. “We could plan for it in future years’ budgets, and hopefully get it, but fixing things this year really wasn’t an option for us.”
The nearby community of Orofino, Idaho, rallied to help. After reading in the local newspaper about the vandalized facility, Orofino Mayor Ryan Smathers started a collection campaign in town to help pay for the repairs.
“Private donations from many individuals and businesses came in, as well as proceeds from the ‘tip jar’ at the community’s Fourth of July event. These funds were then used to purchase a new door, traffic counter and entrance sign at the facility,” said Smathers. He coordinated with Pence to make sure the donated items would meet the facility’s needs and Corps standards.
With the donation of needed repair materials, Corps rangers and maintenance staff didn’t have to wait for funds to appear in future budgets. Instead, they headed out to the camp and installed the new door, sign and counter. And, just in time for fall hunting season, said Pence.
“We greatly appreciate the community’s generous support for this and all of our facilities at Dworshak,” said Pence. “During these times of decreasing recreation budgets, it has become more and more difficult to maintain quality facilities for our customers. These unexpected contributions helped make the camp available for local residents and other visitors who enjoy outdoor recreation, hunting and fishing around the reservoir.”
Little Meadow Creek ATV Camp is located at the old Meadow Creek log dump a few miles downstream from the Grandad Bridge. This is the first ATV-accessible campsite on the lake. Pierce/Weippe ATV Trailriders and P.L.A.Y. (Public Lands Year-round) helped design and construct this camp. Travelers can access the camp from Silver Creek Road.
For more information about the camp and other recreation facilities around Dworshak Reservoir, call 208-476-1255 or check out the recreation webpages at www.nww.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/DworshakDamandReservoir.aspx.
Release no. 14-088