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Sweep finds fewer illegal camps

Officials arrest one, cite eight for camping on

TROUTDALE - A Multnomah County Sheriff's Office sweep of Thousand Acres, a popular parcel of federal and state land in Troutdale, revealed 16 illegal camps on Wednesday, Aug. 2.

In 2005, 28 camps were found at the site.

Sheriff's deputies arrested one person on federal trespassing charges, and cited eight others for illegal camping and/or trespassing.

Oregon Department of Human Services representatives were on hand Wednesday to assist the people contacted in the area, but no one accepted their services.

Work crews removed almost 30 yards of garbage from the site, including fishing gear, tarps, lawn chairs, food packaging and human waste, said Lt. Mike Shults, sheriff's office spokesman.

The sheriff's office conducted the sweep with the help of the Department of State Lands and the U.S. Forest Service to continue to address safety and livability issues in the area.

The sheriff's office sweeps the area once a year to remove any health hazards and threats, and to escort people off the property who are illegally camping overnight at the site, said Lt. Jason Gates, sheriff's office spokesman.

'We want this to be a good place for people to go,' Gates said.

This operation will also prepare the area for the removal of some trees that have grown into the flight path at the Troutdale Airport.