According to Clinch District Ranger Michelle Davalos, someone spray-painted an expression of love on the walkway in recent days. In a photo released by Davalos Tuesday, the person or persons sprayed “Cory + Malaik” and a heart in red paint.
“We need your help to prevent damage to public resources,” Davalos said. “These acts of vandalism divert already limited dollars and people from managing and maintaining our recreation sites.”
The current tower exists because of another act of vandalism. A former Coeburn Volunteer Fire department member pleaded guilty in 2009 to a federal arson charge of burning down the preceding tower on Halloween 2007.
Davalos is asking anyone with information about the latest vandalism to call Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer David Ford at (276) 679-8370, extension 225. She said that intentionally damaging public resources such as the tower and walkway could result in fines of up to $5,000 and up to six months in jail.