U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Steele Peak SKR Reserve Cleanup, August 2012
On Saturday, August 25, the BLM Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office in cooperation with Waste Management and members of Calguns.net, a website dedicated to supporting gun owners, hosted a volunteer cleanup at Steele Peak. Located approximately four miles west of Perris, California, the project site falls within the Steele Peak SKR Reserve, an area set aside for the protection and management of the federally endangered Stephen’s kangaroo rat (Dipodomys stephensi). 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.
More than 60 volunteers helped BLM staff fill an entire 40 yard dumpster full of garbage. BLM law enforcement rangers cleared the area of target shooters to allow for a safe cleanup. In addition, several target shooters that arrived to recreate were inspired by the hard work of the volunteers, and they decided to join in the cleanup efforts. The day was made even more exciting by a wildfire started by a shooter who decided to ignore the request to not shoot until after the cleanup was over. Calfire crews, including a helicopter, arrived making quick work of the 6 acre fire, and the gentleman who started the fire was apprehended by law enforcement.
The BLM would like to thank all the volunteers who showed up to clean, especially the Calguns.net moderators who helped with coordinating all the volunteer efforts. With the help of everyone, Steele Peak is slowly being restored back to its natural state. Future cleanups with volunteers from Calguns.net are being scheduled tentatively for October, December, February, and April. Information on this and other volunteer projects will be posted on the BLM Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office website.
Volunteers have also posted video and pictures of the cleanup efforts at the following websites
- Jennifer Taylor, wilderness/volunteer coordinator, BLM Palm Springs/South Coast Field Office (August 2012)