Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
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Susan Wood reporting Lake levels are seven feet lower than normal, and just four feet above it's lowest point ever recorded. That's making it tough for Park Managers to make sure visitors stay away from the Park's historic treasures,and famed deer herd.
The low lake levels have created a huge sandy playground for some four-wheelers who are actually breaking the law.
If you want to get here... there's one way to do it... legally. Through the park entrance.
But in this low water year, some people are making their own route right across the lake bed.
Ron Taylor, Manager, Antelope Island State Park "THAT LAKEBED LOOKS AWFULLY INVITING. ITS FLAT AND ITS FUN AND YOU CAN SPIN DONUTS AND THINGS..SO IT LOOKS VERY INVITING TO AN OFF TERRAIN VEHICLE."
They are dodging the salty ponds...across the sand... to get to the island.
Susan Wood, Eyewitness News: "THE WATER'S LOWER RIGHT NOW THAN IT'S BEEN (SINCE) THE PIONEERS ARRIVED IN 1847 (SPLICE) AND THAT'S EXPOSING A LOT OF CULTURAL SIGHTS LIKE THIS 30 FOOT LONG BOAT. WHO KNOWS HOW OLD IT IS, BUT THE SALT WATER HAS PRESERVED THE WOOD. AND IF YOU LOOK OVER HERE, YOU CAN SEE THAT THE ATV TRACKS HAVE COME WITHIN ABOUT SIX FEET."
And nearby... a 1949 dumptruck that, a couple of years ago, was under water.
Now, bison tracks run right next to it.
*These* exposed tracks are to a trolley... used by Brigham Young and his men as they brought livestock from the mainland to Antelope Island.
Like today, it was an area the animals could roam without any fences.
But now, fences may be the only way to keep people out.
Ron Taylor, Manager, Antelope Island State Park: "THE PROBLEM IS ONCE THEY ARRIVE ON THE ISLAND THEY'RE IN AN AREA THAT'S PRESERVED FOR THE ANIMALS. "
Fresh tire tracks started appearing last spring... then the joyriding stopped for awhile.
In the last two weeks people are at it again... only now, they're leaving something else behind...
These "no tresspassing" signs have been replaced.... the old ones were shot up with bullets.
Ron Taylor, Manager, Antelope Island State Park: "SOME OF THE PEOPLE COMING OUT HAVE WEAPONS WITH THEM... AND THAT MAKES US WONDER WHY."
While there is no evidence of poaching... it's a big concern here. Rangers worry someone could kill the wildlife as a trophy... then haul it out in an SUV in the dead of night. But take note... they're watching.