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      Corps of Engineers close Bear Creek Recreation Area

      There usually isn't much traffic that uses the Bear Creek Public Use Area north of Quincy this time of year. But some recent visitors and what they did has forced the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers to close the area until further notice.

      "Less people in the park inviting vandalism we've got a lot of that going on right now ," Corps of Engineer River Ranger Brent Groesch said.

      Groesch sa id it was a couple of weeks ago he came across the vandalism in the area. Deep tire ruts, recreational fire rings that had been stolen and to top it off, someone shooting at the lock on the restroom door. Groesch sa id all of th at forced him to close off the area.

      "We're not on patrol as much right now so less patrolling the park means it's just inviting that, so it's not unusual during the winter time but it's been excessive as of lately ," Groesch said.

      So as the area is now locked up, the Adams County Sheriff's Department wants to know who's responsible. They plan to increase patrols through the north bottoms to see if there are any other issues at places that are secluded and out of the way this time of year.

      A place where people go and enjoy their time and to know that vandalism is being done and it reduces that due to the fact that their closing it, is a concern to us so we want to make sure we work with the Corps of Engineers and doing what we can to support them and see if we can find out what happened ," Sheriff Brent Fischer said.

      Groesch also said the area will remain closed for several weeks and once it warms up and there is more traffic in and out of the area is when he will consider reopening the area to the public.

      If you have any information about the vandalism, you're asked to call either the River Rangers at Lock and Dam 21 or the Adams County Sheriff's Department at 217-277-2206.