Steamboat Springs The U.S. Forest Service removed an illegal structure built in the Routt National Forest, north of the Steamboat ski area.
"It was a two-story yurt-type structure that appears to have been used intermittently for illegal personal-use drug activity," said Diann Pipher, spokeswoman for the Routt National Forest.
A crew of six Forest Service employees removed the building on Sept. 25 using two packhorses and two trucks. It took most of the day to remove the structure and haul garbage that surrounded the building. The work ends up being paid for by taxpayers, Pipher said.
"It's illegal to build structures on National Forests. Environmental impacts include human and dog waste and other garbage that isn't properly disposed of, destruction of vegetation and soil compaction. The builders of another illegal structure removed from the forest cut down about 40 small trees to build it," Pipher said.
Forest Service officials identified 10 spots in forest over the summer where people were living permanently, some of which had illegal structures.
Pipher said it is common to find structures in the Routt National Forest, but the long winters in the forest endures makes them less common than other national forests in the country. The bottom line is that they are illegal and will have to be torn down, she said.