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Feds close Fish Hawk Campground near Helena due to misuse

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Posted at 1:31 PM, Feb 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-19 15:31:31-05

CANYON FERRY LAKE — Trash and misuse of the Fish Hawk Campground has led the United States Bureau of Reclamation to close this recreation site.

According to a press release sent by the agency on Thursday, Feb. 17, record-high visitors at Canyon Ferry Lake contributed to an increase in trash and litter in the Fish Hawk Campground, prompting the closure.

Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton says misuse like litter and dumping garbage is a public nuisance, illegal and can force closure of public lands.

“Now we see because of misuse and vandalism to campgrounds that USBR has to shut them down to repair. If you are going to be camping and if you see somebody vandalizing or misbehaving, if you see something, say something,” said Dutton.

Previously, Lewis and Clark sheriff’s deputies would patrol the campgrounds along Canyon Ferry Lake looking for misuse, but now they respond to calls for service around the area. If you see something illegal, Dutton says to give them a call.

“People leaving garbage, if we could catch them doing that or throwing litter, we would try to catch them doing that and underage possession of a substance we would look for that. If there's vandalism, we would try to track that down and see who may have saw what vehicle it was from,” said Dutton.

To protect the public lands from further closure, Dutton says to remind who these lands are for.

“Remember, you're protecting it for everyone these are public use,” said Dutton.

You can read the full press release from the Bureau of Reclamation here.