Forest officials say someone broke through the gate at the top parking lot that goes to the communication center. The driver then drove through the meadow area, which is home to rare plant species.
Until that gate is fixed, the road is blocked off two miles from the summit.
“The vandalism was incredibly disappointing to us because we’ve been working hard to make improvements to Marys Peak, and to have more of a presence at Marys Peak,” said Joni Quarnstrom, the Siuslaw National Forest Public Affairs Officer.
Forest staff officials are replacing the gate and hope to have it installed Wednesday. Once it’s ready to go, traffic can start going back to the top parking lot again.
“We do ask that people keep their vehicles within the parking lot area, and please don’t drive your vehicles out into the meadow,” Quarnstrom said. “It’s a beautiful area with rare and sensitive species, and we want to keep it that way.”
Quarnstrom says officials are planning to thin out part of the campground area because vandalism occurs more frequently when there are fewer people around.