OGDEN (ABC4 News) – Forest rangers have a bizarre-sounding but serious request: don’t shoot your old televisions…at least not on U.S. Forest Service land.
On YouTube, it’s open season on Sonys and RCAs…people blasting away at their old, unwanted televisions.
“Need to get rid of ’em, come to find out a lot of places these days will charge you money just to take your old TV away,” a man says on one video. “I needed a good excuse to go do some shootin’ so today we’re going to blow up these TVs with some guns.”
Sean Harwood, U.S. Forest Service Ranger for the Ogden District of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, advises against it.
“It’s popular and it gets a lot of views,” Ranger Harwood told ABC4 News Wednesday. “But it creates a mess for somebody to clean up.”
Ranger Harwood says that just last Saturday somebody shot up two TVs on forest service land near the Liberty Gun Range in Ogden Canyon. While target shooting is legal in the National Forest, leaving wounded televisions behind is not.
“The big problems are they’re plastic and glass and so then the pieces, the bits and pieces just get scattered,” Harwood said. “Then other people come to use the site…end up walking through it, end up driving through it and it’s a mess.”
Ogden District forest rangers have to pick up junk left behind by target shooters. In addition to TVs, they find computer monitors, microwaves and wooden pallets, sometimes by the truckload.
“To be frank with you your mom doesn’t work here she’s not comin’ behind you and picking that stuff up,” Harwood said. “Other people use the forest and if everybody just goes out and leaves their stuff out there pretty soon it’s no fun for folks to go out there because all it is is just a garbage pile.”
Harwood said that littering forest service land is punishable by a fine of up to $5000.