CRATER LAKE NATIONAL PARK, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon man caused over $60,000 in damages while driving off-road at Crater Lake National Park.
Park officials said Friday that Even Metz, of Grants Pass, paid $200 for the damages in a section of the park called Pumice Desert, after his insurance company paid the full damage assessment costs.
Officials say Metz entered the desert in July 2018, and while his friend took pictures, drove in circles that dug ruts 12 inches deep and caused widespread vegetation mortality. Officials say at least 15 species of native plants were destroyed.
The Pumice Desert once was a glacial valley that was buried by pumice during the eruption of Mount Mazama, a Cascade peak that imploded and left behind Crater Lake.
Officials say the park has seen an increase in vehicles illegally driving off-road.
Officials say the restoration process is costly and takes years.