BOISE, Idaho — Managers of Boise’s iconic Table Rock mesa are calling on the community to treat the area with respect. As Boise and the surrounding area continues to grow, traffic to Table Rock continues to increase which is also bringing more trash and people who damage the natural landscape..
“We have hundreds of thousands of cars trying to access the top of Table Rock mesa,” said Janet Gallimore, the executive director of the Idaho State Historical Society.
The Idaho State Historical Society is responsible for maintaining the site. Gallimore said as of late they have seen more and more issues, mostly from people heading up to the area after dark.
“Huge amounts of traffic, traffic congestion, graffiti, drug parahelia,” Gallimore said. “Signs run over, signs defaced, even the Table Rock Cross [was] defaced with graffiti. That to me is a sad thing.”
The area surrounding the top of Table Rock have also seen abuse from people. Litter, vandalism, and people driving off Table Rock Road, doing heavy damage in the process.
“It ruins the landscape, it ruins the wildlife habitat and the wild flowers and so it does a lot more damage then people I think are thinking because that habitat whether it’s the sagebrush or it is where the birds and the butterflies and all the creatures live, it tears up that landscape, that natural landscape,” Gallimore said.
More and more people are going onto private land that is clearly marked near Table Rock and destroying the environment.
The Ada County Sherriff’s Office said they are looking for the driver of a white SUV that went off road and put large ruts on private property near Table Rock Road earlier this month. Investigators say they drove on to private property, which was marked with “no trespassing” signs, on Nov. 15.
“It’s not necessary, it’s not necessary for people to drive there big four-wheel drive vehicles across that land at all,” Gallimore said.
The damage is very expensive to take care of, and naturally takes years to repair back to form, but it’s not just people driving off trail.
Sara Arkle, who oversees trails around Table Rock for the City of Boise Parks and Rec Department, said this time of year is very tricky on the trails because of the soil composition trails stay muddy. A problem they see is people ignoring signs and going on muddy trails that are marked off damaging the trail system in the process.
They ask the community every fall and winter, Arkle said they ask people to only use established trailheads and trails that are open.
The problems up at Table Rock are not new, but what is new is the continued problems past the summer months. In this season of thanks, Gallimore took to social media to call on the community to think about the gift of Table Rock and the community responsibility to take care of it so future generations can enjoy it.
“We want that experience to be nice for everyone and so if we can all help to avoid and minimize damage then that gift comes back to all of us in terms of accessibility that is beautiful and peaceful and especially this time of the year something that we all need.”