Trash dumped illegally in Warner Valley prompts cleanup effort

ST. GEORGE – Despite cold and windy conditions and mud that stuck to everyone’s shoes, 112 volunteers showed up in two Warner Valley locations to help clean up public lands Saturday.

Volunteers clean up trash on public land in Warner Valley, Utah, March 9, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Bureau of Land Management, St. George News
Volunteers clean up trash on public land in Warner Valley, Utah, April 9, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Bureau of Land Management, St. George News

Volunteers picked up “enormous amounts” of  target-shooting trash from the area, including pallets, lumber, glass and plastic bottles, aluminum cans, cardboard boxes, lawn debris, shotgun shells and spent cartridges, Bureau of Land Management Recreation Planner Dave Kiel said.

“In addition, they removed many large remnants of illegal dumping, including mattresses, tires, bicycles, furniture, appliances, carpeting, and automobile parts,” he said.

Volunteers cleaned up a location about 2 miles northwest of the St. George Regional Airport and an area near Sky Ranch in Hurricane.

Kiel was impressed by the effort and dedication displayed by the volunteers; after only three hours of work two dumpsters were filled and the surrounding landscape looked much better than before.

“This was a wonderful effort by a dedicated group of volunteers, and on a wet and rainy weekend, no less,” he said.

“That kind of public involvement sends a positive message that people really care about their public lands.”

Volunteers clean up trash on public land in Warner Valley, Utah, March 9, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Bureau of Land Management, St. George News
Volunteers clean up trash on public land in Warner Valley, Utah, April 9, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Bureau of Land Management, St. George News

Dumping problem

Dumping on public lands is a big problem, BLM Law Enforcement Ranger Curtis Racker said in an earlier interview, and BLM staff spends a lot of time chasing down those responsible for illegal dumping.

While the BLM has regular patrols, there are no dedicated cleanup staffers. Rangers will pick up what they can when they see it, but that is often not enough.

Trash tends to attract more trash, Racker said, so getting it cleaned up quickly is important. The BLM also needs all the help it can get to track down illegal dumpers.

If a resident sees someone who appears to be dumping illegally, he said, they should write down the license plate number and vehicle description and call 435-627-4300 – the nonemergency contact number for all Washington County agencies. An officer will investigate the situation.

The penalty for illegal dumping is “not enough,” Racker said, although he prefers to work with people. A simple ticket is $250 or more and offenders can also be charged with a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $10,000 fine.

JustServe.org

Volunteers clean up trash on public land in Warner Valley, Utah, March 9, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Bureau of Land Management, St. George News
Volunteers clean up trash on public land in Warner Valley, Utah, April 9, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Bureau of Land Management, St. George News

Saturday’s cleanup event was organized by Kiel through JustServe.org, an online service that matches up organizations that need help with volunteers that want to serve. Kiel is a big believer in the service.

“Volunteer projects can be difficult to organize. The website allows me to put all the details out there, while simultaneously allowing individuals or groups to sign up online,” Kiel said. “For those of us who work with a lot of volunteers, it improves our efficiency immensely.”

According to information on JustServe.org, the website is provided as a service by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and connects volunteers with faith, nonprofit, community and governmental organizations. As of Wednesday morning, the site listed 85 opportunities to serve in the St. George area.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

Email: japplegate@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

Posted in Local, NewsTagged , , , , , ,

4 Comments

  • Common Sense April 14, 2016 at 8:15 am

    Good work! It is sad that people treat this land like a garbage dump.

  • RealMcCoy April 14, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    In a related article- ‘dotboy comes home to find he has been evicted, and all of his worldly possessions in a large dumpster.’
    Sorry you lost your home, dotboy.
    Set up a #fundraiser and I’ll gladly donate a few pieces of broken furniture for you.

  • .... April 15, 2016 at 7:21 am

    Awwww you poor little thing are you still upset over the word HAVE. .fundraiser #The RealMcStupidcantspell…..HAVE a nice day

    • RealMcCoy April 15, 2016 at 10:27 am

      Awwww you poor little thing are you still upset you can’t figure out the difference between YOUR and YOU’RE?
      fundraiser #dotboyTheFelonNeedsBailMoney…..HAVE a nice day

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.