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Caught on Camera: people cutting down trees in Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

An investigation is ongoing to find out who cut down trees in Topsail Hill Preserve State Park. (WJHG/WECP)
An investigation is ongoing to find out who cut down trees in Topsail Hill Preserve State Park. (WJHG/WECP)(WJHG)
Published: Jun. 2, 2020 at 7:36 PM CDT
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Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is said to be one of the hidden gems of Walton County. Bill Potter is a neighbor, who not only lives right next to the park but is also a regular volunteer. Potter said he had a tense interaction with the people cutting down the trees this weekend.

"Frankly, I was flabbergasted," said Potter.

Potter received a call from his neighbor Saturday afternoon, about something strange happening in Topsail Hill Preserve State Park in Walton County.

"I thought he was going to call the ranger but he charged on down there."

When Potter got there, he says he saw his neighbors cutting down trees in the state park.

"I have a feeling you don’t work for topsail," said Potter in the video.

Potter says he tried to keep them around until law enforcement arrived... But they got away.

His neighbor, Garret Barry posted the video on Facebook, hoping someone would recognize them.

According to Jeff Talbert, who is familiar with topsail hill, it is illegal to tamper with wildlife or nature in a state park.

"There are penalties for that, trespassing as well, the FWC is taking a look at all of that," said Talbert.

Neighbors of the park say they want justice to take its course.

"It’s called a preserve for a reason, it's something we should all enjoy, experience, but not harm."

The Department of Environmental Protection is working with the Florida Wildlife Conservation to investigate.

The punishment these people could face is not known at this time.

Copyright 2020 WJHG. All rights reserved.

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