John D’Agostini, Sheriff of El Dorado County, Calif., has revoked the authority of U.S. Forest Service officers to enforce State law within his countywide jurisdiction. The new policy is set to kick in July 22.
D’Agostini said he made the decision after hearing numerous complaints from visitors to the El Dorado National Forest who reported being stopped by Forestry officers and questioned about their activities on Federal public lands. Complainants said the Federal officers showed particular interest in whether they were carrying guns.
“They want to know what you’re doing here, where you’re going, do you have any firearms on board?” park visitor Cory Ward told CBS Sacramento.
D’Agostini said he takes seriously the “style and manner of service we provide” to citizens and visitors, and that the Forest Service, “after many attempts and given many opportunities, has failed to meet that standard.”
A Forest Service representative is set to meet with D’Agostini this Wednesday in an attempt to resolve the standoff, but legal experts say the Sheriff is within his rights to supersede the Feds on determining whether they can enforce State law in his county.