48 Volunteers and a helicopter were required to clean up this mess. It is unbelievable but fortunate that this was found before it got any worse!
DailyMail has more…
A Colorado man has been jailed for six months for dumping more than four tons of litter in a scenic national forest which took dozens of volunteers and a helicopter to clean up.
Benjamin Yoho, 41, lived and maintained a structure in Uncompahgre National Forest, north of the mountain town of Telluride, Colorado, for seven months.
From October last year, he was responsible for the ‘massive littering’ of an area near the Jud Wiebe Trail, a popular hiking spot, according to prosecutors.
In a statement, U.S. Attorney John Walsh said it required 48 volunteers and ‘numerous’ fire prevention and control workers to airlift it all out of the forest in May.
Yoho was sentenced to six months in federal prison for dumping 4.25 tons of litter, which included items taken from a so-called ‘Free Box’ in Telluride where residents recycle clothing and household goods.
Walsh said: ‘This was no ordinary case of littering in the National Forest.’
‘This was full-scale trashing of the public lands, and merited a term of incarceration.’
Yoho, of Telluride and Ouray, was convicted and sentenced earlier this week during a one-day bench trial in Durango before U.S. Magistrate David West.
He was found guilty of residing on National Forest System Lands, as well as maintaining a structure and leaving debris there.
His six-month sentence will be followed by one year of probation, prosecutors added.
Yoho’s probation conditions include placement at a halfway house upon release and a ban from National Forest and Bureau of Land Management lands.
The court also recommended he receive mental health treatment while serving his sentence.
U.S. Forest Service Special Agent in Charge Laura Mark said not only was it was illegal for people to live in national forests, but that this posed significant public safety concerns and damaged natural resources such as watersheds and wildlife.
Fortunately this forest has been cleaned up and people are on the lookout to prevent more problems of this nature.