Nottingcook Forest in Bow, NH, is a piece of town-owned land meant for people enjoy – hiking, canoeing, picnicking. Some people have other uses. They dump rubbish there, apparently mistaking it for the town dump. Four-wheelers like to drive around the place tearing things up.

The local snowmobile club, with the approval of the town, spent several thousand dollars to put up gates and signs to limit access. Two weeks after they were up, vandals destroyed them. The club has put them back up.

Now some residents who live on the far side of the forest say the gates cut off their access to the center of town. They suggest keeping the gates unlocked, and having people report any unwanted activity.

That would be nice, if it would work. They should give it a try.

Unfortunately, by the time anyone can respond, the damage is done and the perpetrators are long gone. That’s been the experience elsewhere.