KLAMATH FALLS — Illegally ripping the shingles off an old Civilian Conservation Corps shelter and using them for firewood is more than a federal crime. It's an act against the cultural resources of Southern Oregon and could lead to a hefty fine.

KLAMATH FALLS — Illegally ripping the shingles off an old Civilian Conservation Corps shelter and using them for firewood is more than a federal crime. It's an act against the cultural resources of Southern Oregon and could lead to a hefty fine.

A recent case of vandalism on the Fremont-Winema National Forest highlights how the abuse or removal of old items with historic and cultural value remains a problem on federal forest lands, often by people who do not realize they face stiff fines for their actions.

The shelter, which is about 15 miles southwest of Paisley, was discovered vandalized this summer but authorities know little about the crime, Forst Service spokeswoman Lisa Swinney says.

"There wasn't much left for clues, and we don't even know for sure when it happened," Swinney says.

The shingles have since been replaced, Swinney says.

"Of course, they're not historic," she says. "But the structure is."

According to the National Historic Preservation Act of 1968 and the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979, cultural or archaeological resources are defined as either historic or prehistoric resources.

Historic resources are at least 50 years old, while prehistoric resources are at least 100 years old. In both cases, these cultural resources may include structures, artifacts, or any other physical remains of human activity considered significant by national, regional or local communities.

The CCC shelter was built by people in a public works program designed to provide Depression-era jobs throughout the nation and thus qualifies as a cultural resource.

Disturbing or removing artifacts is a violation subject to penalties.

For keeping an arrowhead found on the surface, the fine is $500, according to forest officials. The maximum penalty for digging or excavating a cultural resource site could include two years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The violator also is liable for costs to restore or repair the disturbed cultural site. The government may even confiscate property to recoup costs.

Anyone with information on the CCC shelter case or any other disturbance of artifacts is urged to telephone Forest Service law enforcement officers at 541-947-2151 or 541-883-6714.

WHITE CITY — Reservation space remains available for kids who want to take part in a free youth pheasant hunt planned for Saturday and Sunday at the Denman Wildlife Area in White City.

Some of the 85 reserved slots for Sunday morning's hunt remain open. Saturday's hunts are filled; however, kids can hunt on a stand-by basis as reserved hunters leave the field.

To reserve a slot for Sunday, telephone the wildlife area at 541-826-8774.

The youth hunt is billed as a safe, practical and busy way to introduce kids to upland game-bird hunting.

Pheasants are planted in Denman fields and dog-handlers will be available to help flush birds for participants.

Kids under 18 years old with hunter-education cards and HIP validation may participate, while those 14 years and older must carry a valid hunting license and upland game-bird validation.

This year's hunt contains all the same safety rules as last year, including a provision that adults may supervise just one hunter at a time in the field. Blaze-orange hats and vests again are a must, as is federally approved, nontoxic shot.

For more information and other rules, visit pages 22-23 of the 2008-2009 Oregon Game Bird Regulations.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 776-4470, or e-mail mfreeman@mailtribune.com.