FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 24, 2009

Cass Cairns, 719-269-8553

 

Dumping, personal property abandonment, and vandalism on BLM

Cañon City, Colo. – The BLM Royal Gorge Field Office (RGFO) is facing an ever growing problem of trash dumps, abandoned vehicles, and vandalism on BLM lands.  The RGFO is heightening awareness to this problem and the consequences to potential violators.

Recent affected areas include Castle Gardens and Mount Shavano west of Salida, and Phantom Canyon and Dinosaur Flats northeast of Cañon City.  Loose and bagged trash and piles of yard and construction debris have been dumped along the roadsides of these areas.  Newly built fencing, installation of boulders and newly erected signs were vandalized near Castle Gardens.

RGFO Field Manager Roy Masinton said, “Dumping is not only unsightly and wasteful of public funds to manage, it can bring permanent damage to natural plant communities by introducing invasive plants and noxious weeds transported through yard clippings, raked leaves and other debris.”

Offender’s committing an infraction, which is basically tossing litter out the window of a vehicle, can face up to five days in jail and/or a fine of $125-$500.  Trash dumps and abandoned property are considered a Class A misdemeanor with fines ranging from $250-$100,000 and/or up to one year in jail.  Misdemeanor’s can also require a mandatory court appearance. 

If an offender thinks a couple bags of trash or a truckload of yard debris is no big deal, consider this, it could cost them at the very minimum $250, possible legal fees and/or jail time or community service.  “Compare that to an average dumping fee of $25 at a local landfill and it’s pretty apparent of the two options, which is the better deal,” said Masinton.

The general public can help by reporting dumping incidents they may witness to the BLM.  Key information needed is the date, time, location, license plate number, and a description of the vehicle(s) and violator(s) involved.  This information can be turned in to the RGFO by calling 719-269-8500 or Crime Stoppers at 719-275-STOP (7867) or email the information to rgfomail@blm.gov.  BLM cautions the public to not get involved by approaching violators.

- BLM -