Increasing vandalism, theft and disturbances at New Melones lake are making new, strict security measures necessary.
Beginning Memorial Day weekend, the park gates will be closed between 11 pm and 4 am. New Melones Lake manager Peggi Brooks explains the reason for the closures is to provide a better level of security for the park visitors that are there overnight.
“It´s also to protect our facilities and our resources from some pretty destructive vandalism that´s been occuring here for the past several years,” Brooks says.
The vandalism, theft and alcohol-related incidents with juveniles at night has cost taxpayers a great deal of money for labor and repairs resulting from the damage, she says.
“There really isn´t a reason for people to come into the park in the middle of the night,” Brooks says. ´If they´re legitimately fishing or camping, they pretty much will already be here.´ Campers, nighttime boaters and marina users will be able to leave anytime they wish during the night.
The new gates will be in place at both the Tuttletown and Glory Hole recreation areas near the existing entrance kiosks. The new gates will be closed by rangers at night and opened automatically by timers in the morning.
Additional security measures include increased ranger patrols, heightened cooperation with local law enforcement and full-time park hosts in campgrounds.
Brooks asked the public to help report any vandalism or problems they might see while visiting the park.