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June 15, 2007

Contact: Rey Adame 307-352-0399
Wally Mierzejewski 307-828-5508

Kemmerer BLM Sets Its National Public Lands Day Event for Aug. 15

The Kemmerer BLM is gearing up for this year’s National Public Lands Day (NPLD) project set for Wednesday, Aug. 15 in Kemmerer. "This is our second consecutive National Public Lands Day event and we expect this one to be even bigger than last year’s," said Wally Mierzejewski, Kemmerer BLM NPLD project coordinator.

This year’s NPLD project is the Slate Creek Campground, located about 30 miles northeast of Kemmerer. "We plan to make significant improvements to the Slate Creek Campground. This project is located on Bureau of Reclamation-administered land," Mierzejewski explained.

When NPLD began in 1994, 700 volunteers were recruited to work at three sites across the country sponsored by three federal agencies. In 2005, 85,000 volunteers worked at more than 500 locations across the country sponsored by nine federal agencies. The national event is again sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales USA – Toyota’s eighth consecutive year as the national corporate sponsor.

On August 15, 2007, volunteers can help to install new fire rings, paint and repair picnic tables, install barrier posts to protect existing riparian areas, gravel the road through the campground and replace some directional and informational signs.

"We need folks to come out to the campground to work on these areas. We know that people here take pride in their community and want to pitch in. This is a great way for everyone to make a positive contribution to their environment and have fun and meet new friends along the way. Improving the campground is the first step in extending the life and benefit for all users. Most campground users enjoy the trees, but heavy traffic places the trees at risk. Preservation of the area will improve the campground experience for generations," Mierzejewski added.

The Kemmerer NPLD project coordinator suggests organizing your group, business, church, friends and neighbors to lend a hand. Volunteers can represent schools, churches, business, industry or simply themselves. "The Kemmerer BLM needs your support in making this annual event truly special and successful," Mierzejewski noted. Volunteers will receive a 2007 NPLD Volunteer T-shirt and free lunch!

This project will help to promote tourism in the area. These recreation facilities serve as a key component to this region’s Travel & Tourism industry. In 2006, Wyoming received more than $2 billion in Travel &Tourism revenue from local and out of state visitors! Mierzejewski explained, "By enhancing this and other recreation sites visitors could chose to spend more time in our area, potentially increasing tourist dollars in our area."

The event will also include an educational outreach. Visitors will learn about the significance of the riparian zones; and the BLM will enlighten volunteers and guests of the "Leave No Trace" camping philosophy.

"The BLM is prepared to do the same improvements for other campgrounds, based on the number of volunteers who sign up for this year’s event," said Mierzejewski. There are other projects in preparation of the NPLD event that need public involvement such as providing ideas for campground improvement; setting concrete forms for fire rings; preparing materials for the main project; and donating labor, materials and supplies.

The National Public Lands Day website (http://www.publiclandsday.org) lists some of the projects throughout the country that are scheduled for this year. To learn more about the Slate Creek Campground project, visit the Kemmerer BLM website at http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/field_offices/Kemmerer.html.

Anyone interested in working as an individual or group volunteer should contact Mierzejewski at 307-828-4508, or their main office at 307-828-4500.