Notorious troublemaker guilty of publicity stunt at Keystone Resort during COVID-19 closure

Local News

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — The United States Department of Justice announced that it found a Colorado resident guilty of violating National Forest Service regulations for snowmobiling at Keystone Resort while it was closed in April 2020.

The court said David Lesh rode a snowmobile at Keystone Resort while it was closed due to COVID-19 as a part of an advertising and marketing campaign for his outdoor apparel company.

Lesh posted photos of the activities on Instagram. The court found that posting the photos on Instagram constituted selling or offering for sale merchandise or conducting unauthorized work activity on National Forest Service lands.  

According to the DOJ, Pictures were posted on Lesh’s Instagram account on April 25, 2020, featuring an individual wearing outdoor apparel and jumping a red and black snowmobile off a jump at Keystone.  A caption initially read,  “Solid park sesh, no lift ticket needed.” 

Keystone Resort had signs up at the time Lesh entered it that indicated the ski areas and terrain park were closed.

According to the DOJ, snowmobile tracks were found looping around a ski jump. Snowmobile tracks also indicated that snowmobiling happened around the resort, in the terrain park, through the Erickson Bowl, and down a trail on National Forest Lands.

The violations the court found Lesh guilty of are misdemeanors. Lesh will be sentenced at date that is yet to be determined.  

Lesh has been dubbed by many as a notorious troublemaker.

In 2020, Lesh was highly criticized for posting a controversial photo at Hanging Lake.

A petition was started to “Kick David Lesh out of Colorado“.

David Lesh has made a mockery of the Colorado Outdoors for long enough. He continually puts our natural spaces at risk for his own entertainment and fiscal gain. He has resided in Colorado for 15 yrs, and I think that is long enough. If he can not, or will not respect the Colorado Outdoors he should not be allowed to live here.

Shared Natalie Burnstowler, creator of the petition

Lesh received a citation from a wildlife officer for harassing a bull moose in Summit County in 2014. He was accused of chasing the animal with his car and on foot.

Lesh was arrested in Boulder County that same year for a felony arson charge. He later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor mischief. According to court records, officers were investigating a group of 25 grocery carts that had been set on fire and found video of Lesh using a torch to light them.

In 2019, Lesh filmed his own plane crash rescue in California.

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