Nanticoke, May 6, 2020 – State Senator John Yudichak (I – Luzerne/Carbon) recently partnered with the Newport Township Police Department and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) on a collaborative enforcement operation that took place on Saturday May 2 on Pinchot State Forest land.
The operation was carried out in response to numerous incidents reported to the Newport Township Police Department involving both in-state and out-of-state residents that were driving all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) illegally on Earth Conservancy and Newport Aggregate land. Pinchot State Forest land was being used as an unloading zone and a gathering spot for the ATV riders.
“I would like to thank DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn and District Forester from the Pinchot Forest District, Nick Lylo for acting swiftly to collaborate with the Newport Township Police Department on a well-planned enforcement operation to dissuade future illegal riding and trespassing on Earth Conservancy, Newport Aggregate and Pinchot State Forest land,” said Senator Yudichak.
The result of the collaborative enforcement operation was as follows:
- Three cited for trespass with trucks and trailers.
- Two cited for ATVs on roadway.
- Seven trucks and trailers removed from Earth Conservancy property.
- DCNR rangers handed out 10 warnings to ATV riders.
Five DCNR rangers from Pinchot, Weiser, Delaware and Loyalsock State Forests assisted the Newport Township Police Department. Assistant District Forester and Ranger Manager Tim Latz from Pinchot State Forest served as supervisor for the patrol.
“Our department was being inundated with calls about people driving ATVs and off road vehicles illegally on state land and both Earth Conservancy and Newport Aggregate land. We discovered that the problem was even more serious than we originally thought after responding to a serious ATV accident near the area where people were congregating. One of our officers discovered over 40 vehicles with ramps and trailers and an abundance of trash on state land,” said Newport Township Police Chief Jeremy Blank. “I would like to thank Senator Yudichak for acting quickly to put us in touch with DCNR, which did a great job of assisting us with the enforcement operation from this past weekend.”
In November of 2016, Senator Yudichak helped to secure a state grant from the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) for Newport Township to purchase an ATV/SUV (Polaris General 1000) to help combat illegal dumping and vandalism in some of the same regions where the current illegal riding and trespassing has been occurring. The vehicle was used in Saturday’s enforcement operation.
“On behalf of myself and the Newport Township Commissioners, we would like to express our sincere appreciation to Senator Yudichak and DCNR for their quick response to our request for assistance,” said Joseph Hillan, Newport Township Manager. “The Lee Section of our township has become a popular gathering place for out-of-town residents, and the support we received here on such short notice, shows us our state officials are here for us as we continue to combat these issues moving forward.”