U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
 
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BLM California News.bytes
News.bytes Extra, issue 497

Border Clean Up a Successful Partnership Venture

Demonstrating you can accomplish more by working together and leveraging staff and resources, BLM has taken the lead with partners like the U.S. Forest Service and Border Patrol to clean up trash dumps and close hazardous mine sites near the international border in Southern California. (text continues below)

a loader picks up trash among bushes

In phase one of the project, California Desert District abandoned mine lands (AML) and hazardous materials lead Sterling White works with the Palm Springs and El Centro Field Offices to identify illegal dump sites.  He then coordinates with the Forest Service’s Region 5 AML crew to conduct the actual clean-up.  Recently the crew removed 75 tons of trash, including close to 250 tires.  To protect the sites while they recover, 11 tons of boulders were placed and law enforcement officers from BLM and Border Patrol will monitor the areas.

Phase two of the project is focused on closing abandoned mines that pose safety hazards and potentially harbor illegal activity.  BLM California Border Coordinator Greg Thomsen solicited help from the Border Patrol to inventory problem mines.  BP’s San Diego Sector Public Lands Liaison agent Sean Ford organized the inventory.  Once again, Sterling is working with the two BLM field offices to assess the mines and ready them for closure by the Forest Service crew.

These collaborative efforts are an excellent example of federal agencies pooling their resources to improve safety along the border.

a power shovel picks up trash to deposit in a truck bed
a cleaned-up former dump site

- Sterling White, BLM Needles Field Office, Greg Thomsen, BLM California Desert District, 9/1/11

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Last updated: 09-08-2011