Vandalism continues to be a problem for TWRA

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TWRA has responded to vandalism on the Boils Wildlife Management Area (WMA) over three consecutive summers. The Boils WMA is located in Jackson County along the Roaring River; which is a state designated scenic river. Signs, parking lot damage, littering, theft and destruction of habitat have occurred on the WMA. Illegal activity steals from not only the sportsmen and women paying for the conservation of this area, but from all those utilizing the area recreationally.

Destruction of state property and trash is obvious on the WMA, but aquatic habitat damage goes unnoticed by most. “Areas of the river consistently driven in by vehicles have fewer fish. Habitat destruction is a huge concern,” stated Mark Thurman, Region 3 Fisheries Program Manager. TWRA has spent considerable funding to preserve the area and exclude vehicles from the river. Not only is habitat destroyed from heavy vehicles, but fluids from vehicles and stirred sediment also pose issues for aquatic critters. Bank erosion causes further sediment issues.

Cables put in place to keep trespassers out and signs have been vandalized and stolen. “It’s costly to replace these things. There are better ways we could utilize funding,” shared Wally Akins, TWRA biologist. The WMA sign has been replaced three times at a cost of $300.00 each and cabling around the parking lot cost $200.00 and has been replaced several times.

Rules for the area are simple. Park in designated areas only, don’t drive in or across the river and don’t litter.. By following these guidelines visitors will limit habitat destruction and preserve the area for future generations. “More people than not are respectful of the Boils WMA,” stated Mark Thurman. He continued, “We want visitors to enjoy the area; but we need them to be our eyes and ears. If you see something, say something.” TWRA staff encourages anyone with information regarding vandalism in the area or anyone who witnesses illegal activity to contact the Region 3 office: 931-484-9571.