BLM California News.bytes 
News.bytes Extra, issue 525

Volunteers clean up at Steele Peak SKR Reserve

On Saturday, March 24, the BLM Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office hosted a volunteer cleanup at Steele Peak, located approximately four miles west of Perris, California. The project was in the Steele Peak SKR Reserve, an area set aside for the protection and management of the federally endangered Stephen's kangaroo rat (Dipodomys stephensi). (text continues below)

a volunteer holds a black trash bag as he surveys a mound of trash still remaining

Illegal dumping and misuse of the area has resulted in an accumulation of garbage including household refuse, broken target boards, spent shotgun shells, and other items littering the ground. Twenty three volunteers, including students from the College of the Desert and Perris High School, helped BLM staff fill an entire 40-yard dumpster full of trash. BLM Law Enforcement Rangers and a Riverside County Sheriff's deputy cleared the area of target shooters to allow for a safe cleanup. Several target shooters were inspired by the hard work of the volunteers, and they also decided to join in the cleanup efforts. Removal of the garbage will help return the area back to its natural setting, thus enhancing the habitat for the Stephen's kangaroo rat. 

The 23 volunteers put in four hours each, for a total of 94 volunteer hours.

a worker walks across an area filled with trash
An area that was littered with trash, before (above)...
...and after volunteers have finished that section (below):
The same area as above, cleared of trash

 

volunteers pose alongside and atop a very large dumpster filled with trash
Volunteers pose with a dumpster they filled.

- Jennifer Taylor, wilderness / volunteer coordinator, BLM Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 525 -- To subscribe to News.bytes, send an e-mail to: mailto:Join-Newsbytes@List.ca.blm.gov OR visit our News.bytes subscription page.