Volunteers spend day cleaning public land
Sixteen volunteers with the BC Chapter of the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers met April 14 to clean up large piles of metal debris, mainly old cans and bale wire that were discarded on public lands near Fenwick Road, south of Fort Steele.
The debris was quite old and probably can be attributed to historic logging operations. Volunteers used wheelbarrows, as one member joked, powered by the quads she was born with, to access steep locations while a tractor was used to haul garbage from more level areas.
The area was then seeded with a grassland seed blend and the garbage was hauled to trailers and trucks parked on Fenwick Road.
After a wiener roast, the volunteers transported the refuse to the RDEK Central Landfill.
“Although many of us take it for granted, access to public lands is a rare privilege that most countries don’t have. Since no one owns it, some people have historically thought that this meant it was okay to abuse it. Seeing piles of garbage and debris laying around gives others the idea that it is okay for them to abuse these areas too and the problem cascades from there resulting in degraded public lands which isn’t good for wildlife or people. Cleaning these areas up is a way of showing that public land is important and should be treated with respect,” the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers explained.
“A big thanks to the 16 members who donated their time and trucks. Special thanks to Joe Kotlarz for volunteering his tractor; Pat Fraser for providing a trailer and the Regional District of East Kootenay for waiving dumping fees at the landfill.”
Lead image: Volunteers with some of the garbage picked up during the day clean-up on Sunday. Photos submitted