BLM California News.bytes 
News.bytes Extra, issue 562

Desert cleanup

a loader carries the rusted shell of an old VW bus across the desert

Volunteers recently teamed up with staff from the Bureau of Land Management's Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office to identify trash (solid waste) sites near the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument.  Working together, they planned a cleanup project, and removed the large amount of debris in November.

Prior to removal, an environmental site assessment was necessary in order to identify the different types of trash and potential hazards.  No hazardous substances were found -- but the site did produce an abandoned Volkswagen bus, the remains of a fiberglass truck topper, bed springs, metal housings for overhead lights, and a myriad of metal, plastic, glass and wood debris.  The BLM Hazardous Materials Fund covered the $2,750 cost of the project.

Clemons Demolition, Shelton Douthit Consulting, and Scott Eubanks (Lands and Realty Specialist with BLM’s California Desert District Office), spent a full day cleaning the site.  The use of a Bobcat was necessary in order to access the abandoned bus and debris via an unpaved road.   Workers were able to backhaul the bus using the fork lift attachment on the Bobcat while carefully maneuvering the equipment so that no unnecessary damage to the land occurred.  The bus and solid waste were taken to SA Recycling in Coachella.

BLM appreciates the value of volunteers,” said Sterling White, BLM’s Desert District Abandoned Mine Lands and Hazardous Materials Specialist. “Volunteers often assist BLM with conservation work that would otherwise go undone.”   White said that the site has been used for recreational shooting, and he encourages the public to use common sense when doing so.  Littering or creating a public safety hazard violates Federal law.  Taxpayers foot the bill for someone’s irresponsible behavior. Always clean up your target area and remove ALL targets, spent casings or shotgun shells, trash, and debris from your firing position. You can help us clean up public lands by removing any trash encountered.  Picking up trash left by less thoughtful people helps maintain the scenic beauty of your public lands and prevent future littering.

For more information or to report violations, please contact: BLM California Desert District Office, 22835 Calle San Juan De Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, CA 92553.

- Sterling White, Abandoned Mine Lands and Hazardous Materials Specialist, BLM California Desert District (December, 2012)

BLM California News.bytes, issue 562 -- To subscribe to News.bytes, send an e-mail to: OR visit our News.bytes subscription page.