We all end up with the occasional parking ticket, whether you hung out in a spot too long or parked where you weren’t allowed. Not often do we think of boats as the type of vehicle ending up in this scenario. But the Forest Service says it happens more often than you may think.
On the banks of Elk Lake near the the Point Campground Ramp, many boats sit dormant on the narrow beach. Most now have orange stickers saying time is up.
“People are not able to leave their recreational equipment unattended on the National Forest,” said Jaimie Olle, Public Affairs Specialist for Deschutes National Forest. ” So, the boats that you noticed at Elk Lake that have some tags on them have been there for an extended period of time, and we’re letting those folks know that they need to come and collect their boats.”
Central Oregon Daily News counted 19 boats and trailers in the proximity of the ramp. All but one were slapped with the warning.
“People should park their boats and boat trailers in designated areas, whether that’s a developed campground or a site that’s designated for day use,” Olle said.
A camper said he’s seen boats at this location for weeks, but that owners were occasionally at the lake moving them in and out of the water.
The warnings state that many of the boats were missing valid registration. But Josh Mulhollem with the Marine Board believes the main reason these boats were cited was for abandonment.
“I think there was a precedent set and then maybe over time more and more people have done it to the point that the photo you sent me was somewhat jarring, that’s a lot of boats littering the shore,” Mulhollem said. “So, I can see where they (U.S. Forest Service) maybe put their foot down and said, ‘enough is enough.’”
When asked if the tagged boats will be removed if not collected, the Forest Service said they are only asking owners to move boats themselves.
The owners of Elk Lake Resort, located across the lake, said they are not affiliated with any of the ticketed boats or aware that people were leaving watercraft on the opposite side of the lake.