Today's NPS Morning Report is reporting that Blue Ridge Parkway Rangers had to deal with a number of significant incidents during the extended shutdown of the federal government earlier this month. They include:
• An investigation was begun into a report from local police that people had been contacted by a police impersonator at two different locations on the parkway.
• Rangers came upon a car parked along the road with several varieties of mushrooms on its front seat. When the owner returned, the rangers found that he had another six pounds of mushrooms in his possession. Investigation and a consent search of the vehicle led to the discovery of records for $22,766 in sales going back to April and a contact list for restaurants and other buyers. Records also showed that the man had sold over a thousand pounds of various mushrooms (chicken of the woods, hen of the woods, lobster, oyster, morel and chanterelle) and hundreds of pounds of ramps, which he admitted were collected on NPS, state and private lands. Charges against him are pending.
• A ranger served papers on a man who hit a pedestrian and two dogs with his motorcycle while drunk (.19 BAC) and speeding.
• Three people were injured and taken to local hospital following a head-on collision in heavy fog at Reid’s Gap.
Rangers also dealt with several illegal camping incidents, auto and motorcycle crashes, drug and poaching arrests, and an illegal group bike ride.