DENVER – A Colorado man was found guilty of violating National Forest Service regulations last year to promote his outdoor apparel company, a judge from U.S. District Court of Colorado ruled Friday.
David Lesh was found guilty of violating National Forest Service regulations for snowmobiling at Keystone Resort in April 2020 and posting photos to Instagram to promote his outdoor apparel company while the resort was closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The court found posting those images “constituted selling or offering for sale merchandise or conducting unauthorized work activity on National Forest Service lands,” J. Chris Larson, a spokesperson for Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado Matthew T. Kirsch, said.
Lesh managed to somehow enter Keystone Resort even though resort employees had used plows to create snow barriers in front of terrain park features to make them inaccessible. Signs were also posted around Keystone indicating that the ski areas and terrain park were closed, according to a news release in the case release Monday.
Documents show employees found snowmobile tracks looping around a ski jump on April 25 and found evidence that a utility shed had been entered and a snow shovel had been removed. They also found snowmobiling had also occurred around the resort, in the terrain park, through the Erickson Bowl, and down a trail on National Forest Service lands.
The release states Lesh’s Instagram account showed images of an individual wearing outdoor apparel and jumping a red and black snowmobile off a jump at Keystone with the caption, “Solid park sesh, no lift ticket needed.”
A bench trial in this case took place in Grand Junction on August 5, 2021, according to Kirsch.
The Court’s decision found Lesh guilty of violating 36 C.F.R. Sections 261.14 and 261.10(c), both of which are misdemeanors.
Lesh will be sentenced by the Court at a later date.