Two weeks after being installed, vandals have dismantled the upper gate placed by Tooele County in Middle Canyon.
When a Tooele County parks and recreation worker went to unlock the gate just past White Pine Campground in Middle Canyon on Tuesday morning, he found the gate cut from its metal post and lying on the ground, according to Mark McKendrick, Tooele County director of facilities.
“They cut the chain that held the lock and gained access,” said McKendrick. “And then it looks like they proceeded to cut the gate apart.”
The vandals also found the county’s trail security camera and took the memory card, McKendrick said.
McKendrick estimated the damage to be around $500 to $1,000.
“With some material and time we will weld the gate back together,” he said.
Tooele County trails and canyons coordinator Dave Brown said this doesn’t appear to be a normal act of vandalism.
“This wasn’t some juveniles riding around in a truck or somebody coming over from the other side that wanted access to go camping,” Brown said. “This looks like it was somebody that deliberately drove up the canyon with the equipment to cut the fence to make a statement.”
Tooele County opened a toll booth at the mouth of Middle Canyon on June 24 and started charging a $3 fee to drive up the canyon, similar to what the county has done in Settlement Canyon for several years.
The Middle Canyon gate is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
At the time the tollbooth was installed at the mouth of the canyon, the county installed a gate near White Pine campground. The gate is locked at the same time the gate at the mouth of the canyon is closed, to prevent people from the Salt Lake County side from accessing the canyon via Butterfield Canyon when it is closed.
Tooele County is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the damage, according to McKendrick. People with information should call the Tooele County dispatch non-emergency number at 435-882-5600, he said.