The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) is asking for the public’s help to cut down on vandalism in parks in the Palmer Hayflats Refuge.

Staff said they’ve seen an increase in trash and illegal shooting over the past few months, especially near Reflections Lake.

That area was once known as “Rambo Rest Stop,” an impromptu shooting range and dump about 10 years ago.

“It was an old gravel pit from DOT highway construction,” explained wildlife biologist Ed Weiss. "There was a chain link fence where they had blocked stuff off, but it was still accessible.”

Weiss said community groups have cleaned it up and made major improvements but there’s still evidence of illegal shooting.

He said each shot-up sign can cost up to $100 to replace. Recently, staff also swapped out a bathroom door riddled with bullet holes.

"I think it was over a thousand bucks to get it replaced,” Weiss said.

There’s also another “shooting” problem taking place at the pullouts.

"That’s amongst the trash-- you find other things like heroin needles, drug paraphernalia,” Weiss said.

He encourages people to report illegal activity to ADF&G or state troopers to cut down on crime. Weiss advises people not to confront anyone but to snap a picture of a license plate if you’re able to.

“It’s important. We want people to come out and recreate here, and when it’s in a condition like there, where you have a lot of vandalism, shooting and other stuff going on, it’s not really safe for folks to do that."

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