Another public lands issue

trashpubliclandOne local man, following our stories on Bureau of Land Management policing of old bottle collection, called Sierra Wave Media to say a bigger problem is current trash left out on public lands.

Roger Rilling of Mammoth Lakes pointed to the informal shooting range behind the Geothermal Plant. He called it a real problem because people use old television sets and other items as targets. Rilling said after people shoot up the TVs, they leave them there along with other trash. He said, “A couple of falls ago, the Forest Service hauled out 6,000 pounds of trash.” He said the Four Wheel Drive Club has also done clean-up.

Rilling mountain bikes and hikes and says he sees lot of trash dumped on public lands. Marty Hornick of the Forest Service does encourage people to use the area behind the Geothermal Plant for target practice because it’s “more contained.” Hornick agreed that dumping of old appliances and other trash on public land is an ongoing problem. He said Forest patrols pick up items and if they identify where they came from, track people down. Hornick said, “There are people who don’t want to pay to go to the dump.”

At the Bureau of Land Management, Law Enforcement Officer Melodie Stehwien (Stwain) said people are “always dumping things on public land.” She said people point to the limit on days that dumps are open and the fact that fees have gone up. Fines for dumping on BLM land vary, based on what is dumped.

Stehwien said, “People should take their trash where it belongs. Public lands are for all of the public to enjoy, not to abuse.”

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52 Responses to Another public lands issue

  1. Concerned March 25, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    Wouldn’t be too hard or too expensive to install one/two of those motion sensor cameras to get the offender’s license plate, especially at that site. You could probably pay for the cost after one or two citations.

    • Tony Cumia March 25, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

      and how long do you think it would last before someone swiped it. My friend was doing a Pine Marten study for USFS w/ motion triggered cameras. They ended the study when the cameras/counters kept getting stolen. Here’s an idea….. How about the people that use the range clean it themselves? Its really not to hard to organize and just do it.

  2. Tony Cumia March 25, 2013 at 9:38 am #

    If you wait for USFS to do something, it will take for ever…..example: the Yost Trail head parking lot access road in June Lake was washed out 3 seasons ago. To this day nothing has been done to repair it cept for a dangerouslog bridge over the creek. If you or your dog fall in during peak run off…your dead. You can no longer drive up to the trail head, forcing you to park on hwy 158 on a shaded and winding road w/ blind spots. I talked to FOI about it during trails day and they were told by USFS it ‘requires engineering’ to rebuild…..go figure.
    Another one……
    Silver Lake boat launch dock[the concrete one] has been deteriorating for 6-7 yrs now. I was there yesterday and now it is a serious safety hazard. There are holes w/ exposed rebar and the thing is tilting very dangerously into the lake……can you say lawsuit? Perhaps you Bennet can get an answer as to why these 2 hazards have been ignored for so long. The Silver Lake doc is a serious hazard.
    I wouldnt expect the Forest Circus to act in an expedited way in any way soon for the shooting range. Just organize and clean it up your selves.

    • Numbers March 25, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

      One more, the hundreds of decaying plastic sandbags that are making their way down Mammoth Creek, put in place 2 years ago to keep the Hayden Cabin dry. Glad they kept the old girl dry but why did they just leave that huge pile of trash along the creek to slowly melt away. If a private citizen did the same on private land they would likely be fined heavily until it was cleaned up.

  3. esfotoguy March 25, 2013 at 9:24 am #

    I dont get it. Rather than wait for the waivers and BLM and the forest service to act, why cant some people on town cleanup day just go over to the range and clean the damn thin up. Then bring to debris to one of the dumpsters in town…is that to logical?

  4. Charles O. Jones March 25, 2013 at 9:02 am #

    The last time I took a load of crud to the dump off of Benton Crossing road it cost me less than 5 bucks. A bargain in my opinion. Plus, the view of the mountains from the dump is truly amazing!

    It’s not too difficult or too expensive to do the right thing and dispose of your unwanted stuff in the proper way. After all, it’s YOUR stuff.

  5. andrew March 25, 2013 at 7:22 am #

    Maybe BLM can set up a sting operation, and have a CHP spouse keep an eye on the situation.

  6. ferdinand lopez March 24, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

    its hard to pick up a shot up t.v…lots of glass and sharp adges from the shotgun blasts,plus it might scratch the bed of my truck Like or Love

    • Uncle Paul March 25, 2013 at 9:20 am #

      Thats why you dont allow any glass .

  7. Jeremiah's ego March 23, 2013 at 11:48 pm #

    As much as MotherEarth can’t keep up with this cyclical consumption that the corportion’s survive on, we as a collective society don’t do much to give back for all we receive and hence continue to leave in our wake desolate waste lands and growing landfills.

  8. Tim March 23, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

    You folks do not know how good you have it.
    Here is the pricing for Los Angeles suburban shooting and the dump.

    SCHOLL CANYON LANDFILL, Los Angeles (near Pasadena)
    Municipal Solid and Inert Waste $49.18 pick up truck load.

    Angelus Shooting Range, Los Angeles (supervised)
    Regular Fees
    Adults – $13.00 Mon thru Fri
    $15.00 on Sat & Sun

    You could shoot in the mountains above LA till about 20 years ago. Now the closest free unsupervised BLM outdoor shooting areas are about an hour and a half or more away.

    BLM will close your free unsupervised shooting areas if there is no community responsibility toward clean up and safety.

    I used to live near Kernville; the Kern dump did not charge me for my load when cleaning the shooting area even though it was over the Tulare line. The right thing for us to do is to protect our rights and govern ourselves. Chip in and clean these shooting areas while educating others about community responsibility.

    I believe BLM would appreciate folks picking up modern (less than 50 year old) trash and I’ll bet the dump wouldn’t charge you if you approached them with courtesy and respect.

    • Uncle Paul March 24, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

      I shoot up by Castaic Lake all the time.

    • Roger Rilling March 24, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

      Tim, It is my understanding that it took the Forest Service at least 2 months to get a waiver of fees when they last cleaned up the shooting range. I wouldn’t load my truck before I went to the dump.

      • Tim March 25, 2013 at 9:03 am #

        I’m not government, I just asked and the folks at the dump said it was OK.

    • Desert Tortoise March 24, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

      Kern County charges residents for use of their land fills in their property taxes instead of at the gate, so you effectively cheated some Kern County taxpayers. Nice, and you brag about it.

  9. Ken Warner March 23, 2013 at 8:46 pm #

    You don’t evey have to leave the city limits in Mammoth. Just walk around and you;ll see plenty of trash.

    • Trash Pick-up Day March 24, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

      As in any resort community, you will find some visitors pitching trash out the windows or leaving trash for the locals to clean up. Every Spring however, the locals in Mammoth come together, like any respectful community should, and have an annual trash pick up day. It’s has become a very nice social event.

    • Wayne Deja March 25, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

      KEN…You talking trash….or people ?….just askin’….

      • Ken Warner March 25, 2013 at 9:20 pm #


  10. Desert Tortoise March 23, 2013 at 7:11 pm #

    The BLM ought to post two signs there. One that says “No Dumping” and another that says “No Shooting”, then prosecute the living heck out of violators.

    • Uncle Paul March 24, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

      Its a legal shooting spot-been that way for decades…how about people just dont litter. We don’t need more signs in the forest, A lil self policing would do more than the 2[!] BLM cops in the area..

    • Desert Tortoise March 24, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

      Yep, I figured I would get some thumbs down. Everyone wants to do what they want and never take an ounce of responsibility for the outcome. Blame the guvment, but never look at the face in the mirror. Nope, can’t have that. It’s always the other guy.

      • Trouble March 25, 2013 at 6:46 am #

        75.00 a pick up load, is to much. Think the guy making 10 dollars a hour is going to pay that?

    • Big Rick OBrien March 25, 2013 at 2:26 am #

      I always take a photo of EVERY sign I come across out in the wild that says NO SHOOTING…99.9% of them are un-readable because of over-ventilation (wink, wink).

      • Trouble March 25, 2013 at 10:01 am #

        My dad used to say “where else but America could a guy go drive around shooting signs and drinking beer”. Now they would charge ya with at least 3 felonies. Yes I do miss the good days.

        • Wayne Deja March 25, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

          Trouble…Yeah,but maybe not so funny to be drinking and shooting off a gun…I’ve come up to idiots out in the desert while I’ve been walking with bullets whizzing around ,one time yelled out a person was there,and a couple guys came up to say they were sorry….and they were clearly drunk….guns and booze don’t mix.And my bet is when they left,a LOT of trash lying around for others to pick up.

          • Trouble March 26, 2013 at 4:10 am #

            wayne- your probably right, but we laughed it off back then.

        • Tea Party Tom March 26, 2013 at 5:28 am #

          Me and my buddies like to go to the range in Bishop every Sunday and practice for when the Feds come and try to collect our guns.
          Bring ’em on!

        • Jeremiah's ego March 26, 2013 at 9:02 am #

          You sure do produce grade A Ignorance sometimes Trouble.
          Where else in the world can you have all the resources in the world to waste without the thought of generations after you not getting the same chance to waste the resources that we all take for granted!

          • Civility Police March 26, 2013 at 9:54 am #

            With all due respect, Jeremiah,
            I think trashing a person’s post by saying they are ignorant is no different than calling them names.
            Way too much of that sort of garbage going on today in the name of political discourse.

          • Benett Kessler March 26, 2013 at 10:36 am #

            Remember that in your next post.

          • Jeremiah's ego March 26, 2013 at 11:55 am #

            Well Civility Police, I myself am sick of all the Neutrality we see and we don’t see enough Objectivity in the areas where generations after us are counting on us to fight for there best interest!
            So excuse me If my “nobody is sacred attitude” treads on or hurts your feelings. I feel I am speaking a message that is beyond you and me.
            It’s not like I am a trend setter for people not being able to be civil, we live in a “anti society” where people can shut out all that is wrong with the world and live in their content bubble without feeling the need to change anything since they and their family have their needs met.
            So please, I get your point, there is no need to start foaming at the mouth and radically changing your pin name!

          • Jumping to conclusions March 26, 2013 at 3:13 pm #

            Whoa there, Jeremiah.
            No feelings have been hurt in noticing a certain style of communicating electronically that is in vogue today. And I am quite sure that was not your intent. And also quite sure you might be mistaken that I am “foaming at the mouth.”
            However, you must admit, those thoughts do sound (at least vaguely) as if that may be your intent. Finally, it is doubtful that maintaining a fabricated pin name adds or detracts from the sincerity or integrity (or lack of) a posting.

          • Liberal Generation March 26, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

            “…generations after us are counting on us to fight for there (sic) best interest! ”

            Well, that sounds admirable enough, but the fact is, each generation begets a more liberal and open-minded philosophy than the one before it.

            Case in point, Voters under 30 overwhelmingly voted for Obama and support gay marriage.

            Perhaps it’s time for our hardcore conservatives to accept Roe v Wade, gay marriage and relax into the Brave New World.

            Or as Lee Iaococca once put it:
            “Lead, follow. Or get the F out of the way!”

            Or this poetry from Bob Dylan:
            “Don’t criticize what you can’t understand

  11. Tom O. March 23, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    we have an unwritten rule at our gun range in June Lake… glass,pottery,tvs ect..pack it in pack it out..Plus we do a clean up every month or so.

  12. enoughalready March 23, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

    If the trash is over 50 yrs old it is protected by one law.
    If its over 100 yrs its protected by another law.

    If you want to throw out your TV or Fridge or other trash – shoot it first.
    Just like that – your trash becomes a target. According to some people, trash targets are ok to leave on puplic land.

    But if that bottle or can survives 50 yrs of bad shooting – do not pick it up. You’ll be breaking the law!

  13. Wayne Deja March 23, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    Dingo….I don’t have all my teeth….in fact,very few left….and on a daily basis,I PICK UP trash that others have left on the highways and in the desert…Oh,but I do have dentures.

  14. Big Rick OBrien March 23, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    Dingo, it’s been my experience that (usually), the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

    • Jeremiah's ego March 23, 2013 at 11:56 pm #

      Yep, and when it does hit the ground, it becomes closer to it’s roots.

  15. Dingo March 23, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

    When I see garbage dumped on public lands I cant help to wonder where these people come from and if they still have all their teeth. I wonder what kind of parents they have and what they would think.
    People can be so stupid, my only question is HOW does anyone get that stupid?

    • Desco March 23, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

      Or maybe they should quit having so many kids.

      • Trouble March 23, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

        You sure your name not spelled Disco? I quite that 40 years ago.

  16. Trouble March 23, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

    Good one salblaster. But I do think the county/blm should consider the high dump fees they charge the public, for basic household goods, as the real reason they see a increase in dumping.

    • Wayne Deja March 23, 2013 at 5:48 pm #

      Trouble…..What to do is buy one of those dump-fee cards for $90.00…gives you 26 dumps….buy 4 or 5 big trash barrels….and dump your trash twice a month.That’s about $125.00 A YEAR…not really that much.If you think it’s bad up here,try Kern County….In the late 80’s,they charged $17.00 per load in Mojave to dump your trash….and that was 20+ years ago…don’t know what it is now.

      • Trouble March 23, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

        Thanks Wayne. I appreciate good advise. I know I got a bleeding hart for the poor , but have yet to find a bad reason for that.

      • Mark March 24, 2013 at 6:59 am #

        $75 for a pickup load.

        In my opinion if you can’t afford the dump fee you should always dump your trash on the steps of city hall.

        • dean March 25, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

          Let me fix this for you: If you can’t afford the dump fee you should always produce less trash and consume fewer resources.

          That wasn’t so hard.

  17. ferdinand lopez March 23, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    shot up t.v.s and dishwashers wont fit on my curios shelf

  18. salblaster March 23, 2013 at 11:47 am #

    it’s not trash, it’s just waiting to become a historical artifact.

  19. Trouble March 23, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    Maybe some people have to choose between paying the high dump fees or feeding their kids.

    • Wayne Deja March 23, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

      Trouble…If that is the case,they should go dump their trash in one of those big dumpsters around apartments,or in campgrounds….and if confronted,explain their situation to whoever caught them.I’m sure they would understand,or if it’s Law Enforcement,I doubt they would end up in jail.Public land ain’t a dumping ground for anyone,no matter the reason for doing it.

      • Ken Warner March 23, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

        People really don’t like to have others use their trash receptacles. It costs money to have trash pick up service. It’s not looked on with understanding up here.


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