Max Patch Vandal Sentenced to Jail

Published Jul 11, 2013

Max Patch 1

Vandalism on the Appalachian Trail at Max Patch in North Carolina

On July 9, 2013, the U.S. Attorney's Office, in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service, announced that Tyler Pace, 24, of Canton, North Carolina, was sentenced to 90 days behind bars by United States Magistrate Judge Dennis Lee Howell for vandalizing parts of Max Patch.

This ecologically precious and scenic area is in the Appalachian Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Richard Edwards.

Pace received the sentence during an appearance in U.S. District Court in Asheville. Prior to his sentencing hearing, Pace paid restitution for his share of the damage to Max Patch.

United States Attorney Anne Tompkins said, "This sentence sends a message to vandals that damaging our public lands will not be tolerated."

Pace was with a group of men who illegally drove vehicles in the Max Patch area in January of 2013. The reckless vandals caused more than $5,000 of damage to that ecologically precious area.

Pace facilitated that damage by tearing down the entrance gate and fence, thereby enabling the other persons to drive their vehicles into the protected area where vehicles are prohibited.

Several groups -- including the US Forest Service, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Carolina Mountain Club and the Appalachian 4x4 Club -- provided 300 hours of labor from 50 volunteers to restore the site, using native plantings and soil stabilization. Portions of the project that could not be completed with volunteers were solicited through a contract administered by the Forest Service and awarded to a local contractor.

Max Patch is adjacent to the Tennessee state line near Harmon Den and is intersected by the Appalachian Trail. At 4,629 feet, this unique spot offers 360-degree vistas of Mount Mitchell and the Great Smoky Mountains, and is an impeccable location for picnics, artistry and courting.

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Tags: Attractions, Tourism, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Appalachian Trail, Hiking, News, Crime, US Forest Service, Appalachian Trail Clubs, and Appalachian Mountain Club

About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
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