On September 2, the High Desert Backcountry Horsemen went to the Cottonwood Trail to spend a day repairing the storm damage on this popular hiking and equestrian trail. They were shocked to see thoughtless individuals had vandalized signs and the picnic area.

Individuals had taken spray paint and painted ugly designs on the sandstone picnic tables and on the signs at the trailhead.

In addition, a large design was painted on the city’s water tank. The surfaces of the four-foot by six-foot sandstone tabletops, plus the benches, were painted with silver paint. Two large boulders that add to the beauty of this picnic area were also painted with similar designs.

Horsemen President Mary Poe stated her disgust, “What these individuals don’t realize is that this trailhead was constructed by community volunteers in 2009. The vandals aren’t making a statement against the government or some large corporation. They are telling the community they don’t appreciate hard work that goes into planning and constructing amenities that citizens can use and enjoy.”

Since its construction, many people have taken their families, friends and relatives up to the Cottonwood Trailhead Picnic Area to enjoy quiet evenings or beautiful sunrises at the two picnic tables.

Fortunately the vandals left evidence behind of the destruction. The Kanab City Police are investigating and have some leads. The police ask, if anyone has information about who might have done the damage, to please contact the city police at 644-5854.

When Backcountry Horsemen Trail Coordinator Jim Bentley was taking photos, he and Poe agreed that when arrests are made, the Horsemen Chapter will show up in court to insure the punishment fits the crime. Bentley stated, “We want to see that the guilty individuals pay for their crime. This damage should not warrant a slap on the wrist, or a few hours of community service, but they should pay in cash the several hundreds of dollars for the cost of repairing the damage, plus spend a few nights in jail.”

Kanab Trail Committee member Jack Gisler, who worked on this project in 2009, echoed his sentiment, “It is too bad when community residents donate time, energy and money for projects that serve the residents and visitors, some boneheads have to try to destroy it. Our committee will be in court along with the Horsemen urging maximum punishment.”