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News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 405

Volunteers help clean up Alabama Hills for Film Festival

More than two dozen volunteers, including members of the Alabama Hills Stewardship Group and staff from the BLM office in Bishop, worked to clean up trash in the Alabama Hills Recreation Area.  The Alabama Hills have been the backdrop and setting for many well-known Westerns, movie classics, and vintage television shows. The cleanup has become a community housekeeping task the weekend before the annual Lone Pine Film Festival in October. The festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The clean up was also a celebration of National Public Lands Day -- a way to give back to your public lands. (text continues below)

A dog wearing a red T-shirt draped over its back, looks up expectantly at a person off-camera
This dog, wearing a National Public Lands Day T-shirt, was an enthusiastic member of the group

Volunteers prepare for their work assignments. The snow-capped Sierra Nevada are in the far background, behind the Alabama Hills.
Volunteers prepare for their work assignments. The snow-capped Sierra Nevada are in the far background, behind the Alabama Hills.

During the film festival, tours are given of famous film locations such as the Lone Ranger.  BLM Recreation Planner Jim Jennings said the annual cleanup has seen less and less trash to be picked up each year it has been held.

The stewardship group meets at the Lone Pine McDonalds for a free breakfast provided by Liz and Kevin Mazzu. Kevin is a major supporter and member of the Alabama Hills Stewardship Group. The youngest helper in the clean-up effort was the Mazzu’s 3-year-old daughter Mackenzie who was helping mom and dad pick up trash around the trail to the Alabama Hills Arch and along Movie Road.

Inyo County Film Commissioner Chris Langley said, “It’s seems as if people using the area recognize the importance of its uniqueness and try not to spoil it by tossing out their trash.  This dramatic landscape lends itself to great cinematography with the large, rounded and uniquely shaped boulders of the Alabama Hills set against the backdrop of the sharp edged ridges of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.”

Others involved in the cleanup included: Donna Gruenewald, Linda Hubbs, Charles James, Katherine Kravitz, Myles Moser, Russ Monroe, Tim Standing, Em Holland, Ron & Jeannine Dahnce, Michael Bunn, Ivonne Bunn, Warner Fellows, Gene David Mathern, Mike Prather, R. Michael Tidwell, Ron V. Bennett, Edward A. Stockinger, Don W. Reeves, Elysha Iversen and Brad Johnston-Cox.

About a dozen and a half people stand for a portrait, holding up red event T-shirts in front of them
Volunteers pose for a group portrait

- Charles James, Healthy Communities of Southern Inyo County, 9/19/09

- Photos by Elysha Iversen, BLM

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 405

Last updated: 10-21-2009