Lodge undergoing repairs

Trapper's Lake Lodge was ordered closed May 25 by the Forest Service after a routine follow-up inspection revealed public safety issues.

According to Glenn Adams, District Forest Ranger for White River National Forest, the lodge is one of two lodges with special-use permits for business operations on public land.

"The laws for public property parallel state health laws, but because it is federal land, we have jurisdiction," Adams said.

"Most of the problems have to do with electrical and finishing up construction from three years ago when the lodge burned down and was replaced," Adams said.

He said smoke alarms, potable water testing equipment and other general maintenance issues need to be addressed before the lodge can be re-opened.

Adams said the owners and employees have been extremely cooperative and had workers at the lodge making the repairs.

"We understand this is the beginning of their busy season, but we have to make sure it is safe for the public," he said.

Adams said that rumors of illegal drugs being the reason for the closure were inaccurate.

"It is standard procedure for the Forest Service to have police officers along, but I am not aware of any Drug Enforcement Agency action. This was just a health and safety issue," Adams said.

Rio Blanco County Sheriff Si Woodruff said the lodge is in Garfield County but that his department responds to situations at the lake and knows of no drug investigations.

"Our department does respond to calls because it is closer, but it still takes over an hour from Meeker," Woodruff said. "There are no drug issues going on at Trapper that this department has been involved in."

He did acknowledge the arrest that resulted in attempted murder and assault charges against two employees. Terry Ethington, 47, and Rocky York, 25, were both charged with attempted second-degree murder and assault over two separate incidents that occurred at the lodge in May.

Neither lodge owner Dan Stogsdill nor a lodge representative could be reached for comment.

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