Face­book de­ters tres­pass­ing at Rock

The Hamburg Area Item - - Front Page - By Lisa Mitchell lmitchell@ 21st- cen­tu­ry­media. com @ kutz­town­pa­triot on Twit­ter

Tilden Town­ship Police con­tinue to cite peo­ple for crim­i­nal tres­pass at The Rock and the Kernsville Dam Recre­ational Area in Tilden Town­ship.

The depart­ment has taken to so­cial me­dia in hopes of de­ter­ring peo­ple from tres­pass­ing in the area.

“In 2016, many visi­tors to the Rock were not only us­ing so­cial me­dia to look up the place prior to their visit, but they also posted pho­tos and videos on so­cial me­dia af­ter their visit,” Tilden Town­ship Police Chief Wil­liam J. McEll­roy III tells The Ham­burg Item. “In try­ing to get the word out in any way pos­si­ble about the clos­ing, we wanted to use so­cial me­dia as a free way to reach the masses.”

He said Face­book and In­sta­gram were used to post pho­tos of the signs and men­tion the high fines.

“Many peo­ple young and old use so­cial me­dia to get their news. We wanted to make sure that we were get­ting our mes-

sage out on so­cial me­dia and not just tra­di­tional me­dia plat­forms such as news­pa­pers,” said McEll­roy.

The depart­ment asks peo­ple to share in­for­ma­tion posted on so­cial me­dia in an ef­fort to fur­ther get the word out, post­ing on the Tilden Town­ship Police Depart­ment Face­book page, “The area is clearly posted with mul­ti­ple No Tres­pass­ing signs in both English and Span­ish in­clud­ing at the yel­low gate in Lot 1.”

Posts in­clude pho­tos of the No Tres­pass­ing signs and an aerial photo with the No Tres­pass­ing ar­eas marked, photo cour­tesy of Blue Moun­tain Wildlife.

Ac­cord­ing to the depart­ment Face­book page, Lot 1, oth­er­wise known as the mon­u­ment lot, is open to the pub­lic for park­ing. The Bar­tram Trail, Therma Madiera Trail, Ca­bela’s Wet­land Trail are open to the pub­lic for recre­ational use ex­cept for mo­tor ve­hi­cles.

“PA DEP has posted even more signs this year to aid in en­force­ment,” Tilden Police post on Face­book.

De­spite No Tres­pass­ing signs, peo­ple con­tinue to tres­pass at The Rock and the Kernsville Dam Recre­ational Area, which are both closed to the pub­lic.

McEll­roy re­ports that so far this year, 45 peo­ple have been cited for crim­i­nal tres­pass at this prop­erty.

There were a to­tal of 10 peo­ple cited for crim­i­nal tres­pass on May 19.

On May 19 at 12: 30 p. m., one adult from West Read­ing was stopped and will be cited for Crim­i­nal Tres­pass af­ter be­ing found at Lot 2 of the Kernsville Dam Re­cre­ation Area. At 12: 40 p. m., one adult from Shoe­mak­ersville was stopped and will be cited for Crim­i­nal Tres­pass af­ter be­ing found just south of Lot 2 of the Kernsville Dam Re­cre­ation Area. At 3: 01 p. m., four adults from Penn Ar­gyl, Co­play, Ore­field, and Heller­town were stopped and will be cited for Crim­i­nal Tres­pass af­ter be­ing found swim­ming at the Kernsville Dam.

Also on May 19, at 3: 25 p. m., two adults from West Ch­ester were stopped in a ve­hi­cle on Kernsville Dam Road at Lot 2. One of the oc­cu­pants had opened up the un­locked gate while of­fi­cers were inside the area check­ing on tres­passers. Both will be cited for Crim­i­nal Tres­pass and the driver will be cited for Tres­pass by Mo­tor Ve­hi­cle.

At 4: 02 p. m., two adults from Chadds Ford were stopped near Lot 2 of the Kernsville Dam Re­cre­ation Area wear­ing swim suits. Both will be cited for Crim­i­nal Tres­pass.

On May 20 at 2: 25 p. m., four adults f rom East Earl were found walk­ing on Kernsville Dam Road north of Lot 1. They ad­vised the of­fi­cers that they had been fish­ing at the Rock. They stated that they knew about the No Tres­pass­ing signs but con­tin­ued onto the prop­erty any­way. All four will be cited for Crim­i­nal Tres­pass.

“A valid con­cern of the depart­ment, and I think res­i­dents, is that en­forc­ing the tres­pass­ing is tax­ing on the re­sources of the depart­ment. Res­i­dents are con­cerned that we will not be else­where in the town­ship when needed,” McEll­roy tells The Ham­burg Item. “What we are ask­ing res­i­dents to un­der­stand is that we have a duty to not ig­nore this area. We will re­spond to calls at the Kernsville Dam Re­cre­ation Area the same as we would an­other location in the town­ship. How­ever, that does not mean that we will ig­nore the rest of the town­ship. The Kernsville Dam Re­cre­ation Area is cer­tainly an area of fo­cus, but not the sole fo­cus.”

The Penn­syl­va­nia Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion, who owns and man­ages the prop­erty, added a new larger sign re­cently at Lot 1 of the Kernsville Dam Re­cre­ation Area to re­mind peo­ple that they can not go be­yond that point.

“We are ask­ing that peo­ple sim­ply obey the signs and not tres­pass,” said McEll­roy to The Ham­burg Item. “If some­one wit­nesses tres­pass­ing, we ask that they call the police who can then check on that. We are also ask­ing peo­ple to not re­port tres­pass­ing at the Rock via Face­book. The pa­trol of­fi­cers do not get no­ti­fied of posts on Face­book and will not be able to re­spond in a timely man­ner.”

To re­port tres­pass­ing, call Tilden Town­ship Police at 610- 655- 4911.

The pub­lic is en­cour­aged to con­tact Tilden Town­ship Police if af­ter con­sult­ing the map and they are still un­sure of where they not al­lowed to be. Call the depart­ment at 610- 562- 9001.

Blue Moun­tain Wildlife Inc. main­tains the trails in the Kernsville Dam Re­cre­ation Area.

“We are con­tin­u­ally con­cerned with the tres­pass­ing,” said Gregg Adams, direc­tor and sec­re­tary of Blue Moun­tain Wildlife Inc. “So long as there is a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of peo­ple will­ing to ig­nore the signs and the law, we can’t see that PA DEP will be will­ing to re­verse its poli­cies and open the area up to the pub­lic again.”

Adams notes that Blue Moun­tain Wildlife vol­un­teers are still col­lect­ing and bring­ing out trash from the area closed to the pub­lic.

“Some weeks we are bring­ing out amounts equal to that which we were col­lect­ing last spring, be­fore the area was closed to the pub­lic,” said Adams. “We are hop­ing that the ef­forts of lo­cal law en­force­ment and PA DEP to in­crease aware­ness of the clos­ing of the area to the pub­lic will pay off and keep the area qui­eter, safer and cleaner this sum­mer.”

Adams said Blue Moun­tain Wildlife asks ev­ery­one to re­spect the law and keep to the ar­eas open to the pub­lic.

“There is still plenty of pub­licly- ac­ces­si­ble land at the Kerny to en­joy.”

Blue Moun­tain Wildlife would like to thank those who have con­tin­ued to sup­port their ef­forts to main­tain and im­prove the area.

“There is still much to do in the ar­eas still open to the pub­lic,” said Adams. “We also un­der­stand that there are many in our com­mu­nity and be­yond our com­mu­nity who are an­gry and up­set with the clos­ing of much of the area to the pub­lic. We ask them to re­spect the law and the Kerny and be pa­tient un­til a so­lu­tion is reached that will al­low the area to be re­opened to the pub­lic.”

For con­cerns on why this area is closed to the pub­lic, please con­tact PA DEP BAMR at 717- 783- 2267. If you are in­ter­ested in par­tic­i­pat­ing in any of the au­tho­rized pub­lic events co­or­di­nated by Blue Moun­tain Wildlife, please con­tact them at Info@ blue­moun­tain­wildlife. com.

The depart­ment asks peo­ple to share in­for­ma­tion posted on so­cial me­dia in an ef­fort to fur­ther get the word out, post­ing on the Tilden Town­ship Police Depart­ment Face­book page, “The area is clearly posted with mul­ti­ple ‘ No Tres­pass­ing’ signs .

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF BLUE MOUN­TAIN WILDLIFE

Aerial photo with the No Tres­pass­ing ar­eas marked for the Kernsville Dam Recre­ational Area in Tilden Town­ship.

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