Stolen signs cause problems for hikers, DNR

Map signs have been stolen recently from hiking trails in Marquette County, including Little Presque Isle and Blueberry Ridge.

The Department of Natural Resources says this has happened before, but they want to educate the public on the dangers of stealing signs.

The missing signs are causing hikers to get lost or confused on the trails.

“People are hiking in the woods and they get to an intersection and they’re expecting to find ‘Where am I?’ (signs), and they find just an empty board with no map,” Parks and Recreation Supervisor with the DNR Doug Barry said.  “Boy, it can’t be frustrating and it sometimes can even be dangerous.”

“It can become pretty serious if someone is out there walking on the trails, and it’s getting late and they need to know where they’re at.  Come on people, be a good steward and keep the signs up.”

The DNR says the situation is frustrating because they recently put up new signs at Little Presque Isle.  It also costs the DNR money to create and place the new signs.

“We put a lot of effort into helping people orientate themselves out there at that facility, and then a week later we have to go put out some new maps,” Barry said.  “It is an expense, certainly, to do that (put up new signs).  It’s a worthy effort on our part because we want to help the people find their way, but it would sure help if people would just leave the signs in place.”

Barry says if you see a map sign missing to contact the DNR.  He also said they are going to try and make heavy–duty plastic signs to deter people from stealing them.