The Bonneville Power Administration is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of persons who vandalized road gates in both Wyoming and Idaho. BPA said vandals damaged gates near high-voltage lines in Teton County, Wyoming and Idaho. The gates provide access for line crews maintaining transmission lines that provide power to the region. Administration officials believe people are vandalizing the gates so they can enter U.S. Forest Service land to illegally harvest trees for firewood. “The last thing our line crews need when responding to an emergency outage in these remote areas is to have to worry about damaged road gates that may impede their ability to reach downed or damaged lines,” says Neil Arthurs, physical security manager for BPA. “Particularly with winter approaching, restoring power in a timely fashion can have significant implications in this region.” BPA pointed out that maintaining and repairing the road gates, locks, and pins is expensive. The costs will be absorbed by regional electricity ratepayers. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Crime Witness Hotline at 800-437-2744 or local law enforcement.
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