Man to pay $18K for road damage


A Steamboat Springs man who bulldozed a road into a wilderness study area must pay $18,000 to repair the damage he caused.

In District Court on Tuesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Gudrun Rice ordered Douglas Matthews to pay $18,000 to repair damage he caused to the Skull Creek/Willow Creek Wilderness Study Area near Dinosaur.

Earlier this year, Matthews pleaded guilty to bulldozing a five-mile road into the wilderness study area about five years ago.

Bureau of Land Management spokesperson Mel Lloyd declined to state Matthews' motive.

"This senseless action not only caused resource damage in a wilderness study area, but also caused unnecessary degradation to several archaeological sites," BLM Special Agent in Charge John Silence said in a statement. "The ramifications of breaking the law on BLM public lands are severe."

Matthews also will have to pay a $1,000 fine.

According to a BLM press release, parts of the wilderness study area will require restoration and archaeological sites need repaired and stabilized.

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