A gate closing Three Devils Road to the public was vandalized a week after it was installed, after a court decision ended public access to the road.
Jon Wyss, a member of the Gebbers Family, reported damage to the gate and theft of a sign to Okanogan County Sheriff’s Deputy Jodie Barcus on Aug. 11. Wyss said he had gated the road two days earlier.
Wyss said the damage must have occurred Aug. 9 or 10. The Washington Supreme Court on Aug. 2 denied a request from a group of Chiliwist residents to hear their lawsuit over Three Devils Road, which left intact the Okanogan County commissioners’ 2015 decision to vacate the road.
Gamble Land and Timber petitioned Okanogan County in 2015 to vacate three miles of the road to protect adjacent property from trespassing and vandalism. Gamble Land is run by members of the Gebbers family.
Wyss showed Barcus postings on social media threatening damage to the gate, but acknowledged there was no way to determine who was responsible, according to Barcus’ incident report.
Wyss said Gamble Land would put measures in place to try and determine who was responsible for this damage and any future damage. He also said larger gates would be installed, according to Barcus’ report. Property damage from the vandalism is estimated at $425.
The lawsuit filed by the Chiliwist residents had argued that the road provided an important escape route and a way to reach public lands.