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America's Great Outdoors scene of family in a canoe

News.bytes Extra, issue 491

Don’t Trash the Dunes…Please Pack it Out!

El Centro Field Office staff recently spent a day picking up trash left behind by summer visitors to the Imperial Sand Dunes.  With relatively few visitors recreating during the hotter months, the need for dumpsters diminishes. Trash collection dumpsters are removed during the summer months to cut costs, saving tens of thousands of dollars. 

This summer, however, an outbreak of trash left strewn around the dunes has required park rangers to spend numerous hours picking it up. Dunes manager Neil Hamada comments on the situation, “Sending park rangers to clean up the mess costs money -- money that could be better spent elsewhere.”   Field Manager Margaret Goodro agrees “Protecting our visitors and the resource is a priority, and every penny counts as we gear up for the new season.”

Visitors are reminded that when dumpsters are not available they must pack their trash home.  It is illegal to leave trash or debris behind, bagged or otherwise.   Additionally, glass beverage containers and firewood containing nails, screws or other metal hardware (including pallets) are not permitted at the dunes.

a ranger picks up trash partially buried in the sand
A park ranger cleans up trash along Gecko Road. Similar trash piles were left behind throughout the north and south dunes. 

- Joya Szalwinski, interpretive park ranger, Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area/BLM El Centro Field Office, 7/26/11

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 491 -- To subscribe to News.bytes, send an e-mail to: mailto:Join-Newsbytes@List.ca.blm.gov OR visit our News.bytes subscription page. 

Last updated: 07-28-2011