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News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 321

Volunteers help BLM clean up Sonora encampment 

Soggy sleeping bags. Ripped tents. Piles of old mattresses. Dozens of empty propane bottles.

BLM employees from the Folsom Field Office filled a 40-cubic-yard dumpster with trash from a homeless encampment on BLM land on the outskirts of Sonora. (text continues below)

 Before: trash lines a clearing at the site

Jim Grossman, Sonora resident and president of the Dogwood Charitable Foundation, volunteered to help with the cleanup.

"This is what we are all here for, to protect the public lands from abuse and clean up these sites where we find them," said Jim Eicher, associate field manager. "This was a great team effort and very well planned out. The joy of cleaning up these sites and working together as a team is what makes our work so special."

In addition to the litter problem, the encampment presented a threat to public safety. "We could have had a fire start that would spread into Sonora," Mark Petersen, law enforcement ranger said following an earlier visit. Fires had been built in holes in the ground next to head-high manzanita.

Volunteers and BLM employees plan some strategies as they face the task:
Team members survey the work ahead and plan their strategy

Shoveling trash into garbage cans

Hauling trash with a trailier hooked up behind an all-terrain vehicle

Sorting through types of material

After: a cleared area

- D. Christy, 3/08

BLM California News.bytes, issue 321

Last updated: 03-06-2008