CLARKSTON – A Cache County landowner has filed a restraining order against Cache County, trying to keep them from continuing to bulldoze a road through private property.

On May 13 Scott Shriber, the landowner of Winter Canyon Ranch east of Clarkston, got surprised when a bulldozer and an armed deputy sheriff showed up and started bulldozing a game trail trying to make it a thoroughfare.

The county claimed a game trail was a highway and took a 10-foot swath 200 yards long up the canyon, knocking down trees and everything else in its path.

Earlier in May the county got wind the Shriber was going to challenge the public access claim, so they sent the armed deputy with a man operating the bulldozer to enter Shriber’s private property and proceeded to pulverize the game trail.

As far as Shriber knew, no engineer had investigated the damage caused making the proposed road. Had they come and analyzed the property they would have known the damage a road would cause to a major watershed for Clarkston.

The land in question is covered by Clarkston’s source water protection zone which protects drinking water for the city as well as ensures delivery of water runoff to agricultural users.

The previous owners of the property, Young Brothers Livestock, tried to get county officials to keep the public off their land and successfully asked the county to remove the road designation. In time, the road designations would reappear.

Cache County trails development officials put an announcement on the Clarkston City website trying to drum up support for making roads on private property west of the city.

“We have received word that a private landowner is trying to close public access to several of the trails to the west of Clarkston, including Winter Canyon, Elbow Canyon, Green Canyon, and Old Canyon,” the notice said. “The county is planning on fighting to keep these trails open and we will need evidence of public use.”

They want anyone who used any of the trails, or know others who have, to let them know.

“We need proof, like pictures, that these trails are regularly and consistently used by the public to access the state and federal lands around Gunsight Peak,” the post added. “If you have pictures or testimonials that you are willing to share, please send them to the county.”

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