City of Austin officials have asked police to patrol a nature trail just west of Austin in the latest bid to deter would-be hikers and dog walkers from using the path the city says is closed to the public.
The officers, who have not started patrols along the more than 3-mile trail, could issue criminal trespass citations to anyone without written authorization from the city’s Wildland Conservation Division.
The River Place Municipal Utility District had built a roughly 1-mile trail open to the public in the subdivision, and in 2009 it opened a 2.1-mile extension. Problem is, the extension traverses the city-owned Cortaña Nature Preserve, not meant for public use because it has been set aside as habitat for endangered species, including the golden-cheeked warbler.
Last year, the city closed the trail extension, posting notices and surveillance cameras along the path to curtail trespassing, but that didn’t stopped people from using the trail.