NORTH BEND, Wash. - Outdoor groups are noticing a dangerous trend on public lands near North Bend. Illegal camps are reportedly being constructed and occupied by drug addicts who leave the sites covered in trash and dangerous items.
Wade Holden, President of Friends of the Trail, showed us one camp just north of North Bend. There were tarped enclosures on both sides of a small creek. Some were built on well constructed platforms with tents and yard furniture inside. The ground is littered with hypodermic needles, home-made pipes, propane tanks, etc.
Holden believes heroin is the drug of choice. He and his group have the task of cleaning up sites like this before they ooze out toxins into the soil and creeks. His workers have to be careful with so many needles and other dangerous items strewn about.
Holden said many of the items were obviously stolen from stores in North Bend. He said addicts target places like this because they are close to food banks and small markets that sell beer and wine.
The City banned camping in the area, but Holden said new camps are continuously popping up faster than he and his crew can remove them.