- Associated Press - Sunday, January 19, 2014

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Jackson city crews with heavy machinery and barges have been hauling off squatters’ camps set up on the Pearl River above Ross Barnett Reservoir.

They moved carpet, lumber, tents, barbecues and outhouses, the reservoir’s general manager, John Sigman, told The Clarion-Ledger (http://on.thec-l.com/1jfCPgc ).

“To date, we’ve removed 112 tons of material,” he said.

Sigman said the camps both made the incorrect impression that they were on reserved areas and brought complaints that they were eyesores.

“We’ve had this problem with squatters over the years,” Sigman said. “This is public property that should be open to all, but some have staked their claim.”

The Reservoir Parks Policy Committee has approved new rules to limit the number of consecutive days people can camp along the river, ban permanent camps and require campers to take out everything they brought with them.

Before they’re official they need public comment, including public meetings over the next several months.

But Sigman asked campers to abide by the proposal now.

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Information from: The Clarion-Ledger, http://www.clarionledger.com