National Public Lands Day – Warner Valley Cleanup Targets Recreational Shooting Debris
A cool fall morning greeted volunteers in Warner Valley as they gathered to participate in a public lands cleanup as part of National Public Lands Day held on Saturday, September 28th.
The BLM St. George Field Office organized two cleanup locations in Warner Valley, one on the west end of the valley and one on the east end, closer to Hurricane, UT. Volunteers on the west end included members of the Washington County 4-H Club and local church groups, as well as others wanting to do their part.
From approximately 8:00am to 12:00pm, volunteers focused on cleaning up widespread shooting debris in their immediate vicinity. Throughout the morning, they picked up substantial amounts of “target trash” from the area, including pallets, lumber, glass and plastic bottles, aluminum cans, cardboard boxes, stuffed animals, shotgun shells and spent cartridges. In addition, they removed many large remnants of illegal dumping, including mattresses, tires, bicycles, furniture, appliances, carpeting, and automobile parts.
BLM outdoor recreation staff Melissa Buchmann and Elizabeth Mejicano oversaw the site in western Warner Valley and were impressed by the effort and dedication displayed by the approximately 30 volunteers. After only 4 hours of cleanup efforts, the large on-site dumpster was full and the surrounding land looked much better than before. “Everyone pitched in and did a great job cleaning up. We hope that public participation in these events will help us spread a positive message about taking care of public lands, Buchmann said, referring to the “Tread Lightly!” outdoor ethics program that encourages responsible outdoor recreation.
Outdoor Recreation Planner Kyle Voyles oversaw the cleanup project on the eastern end of Warner Valley. With approximately 35 volunteers in attendance, thousands of bullet shells and nails, along with hundreds of pounds of trash and shooting debris, were cleaned up in a very short amount of time. "It is always inspiring to see members of the public take pride and ownership in their public lands. We would like to give all the volunteers a big thank you and job well done!" said Voyles.