My wife and I just returned from a camping trip up Anthracite Creek near Kebler Pass. We were both enraged to find so much trash in the area.
There are completely abandoned camps with all of the tents, tarps, food bags, etc., left on the site. All of the campgrounds are littered with junk. People seem to believe that beer cans and aluminum foil disappear in a fire like magic, when they actually make unsightly slag. In some well-used areas there are large bags of trash left behind as well as batteries, fuel bottles, old stoves and stove pipe. I know that hunters, fishermen, and campers do a lot for the North Fork economy, but they also leave a tremendous amount of trash for everyone else to endure.
Not only are the forests trashy but also areas surrounding Paonia, Hotchkiss, and Crawford. Crawford Road (also known as the backroad between Crawford and Paonia) is a dumping ground for beer bottles, old washing machines, and other junk that jerks can't take to a landfill or a dumpster.
Conditions such as these are why Mr. and Mrs. Libertarian of Delta County are wrong. If everyone followed common sense and treated neighbors with the Golden Rule we would have no need for any governmental laws and regulations. Unfortunately they don't. People build chicken houses in absolutely the wrong areas and others junk up their yards and property and hide behind the "zoned agricultural" law. These are the people that force government to make laws.
In addition Mr. and Mrs. Do-gooders are not that helpful either. They pick easy targets such as "Big Oil" and scare everyone with what might happen and yet they do very little constructively. They are good at saying NO, such as no fracking, no gas drilling, etc. but I don't see any of them saying NO, to no more junk or trash. How about supporting junk and zoning regulations in Delta County? These aren't quite as easy a target as Big Oil but it would be much more helpful to the local populace. I might even consider joining one of these organizations and contributing money if they did something positive for a change, instead of just saying NO.
There was an article in the DCI on Aug. 8 about a group that came to town to pick up trash and partnered with NFRIA/WSERC. Why does NFRIA/WSERC have to wait to be asked to pick up trash? How about a continuing commitment? How many members of NFRIA/WSERC have driven by the piles of beer bottles on Crawford Road and not stopped to clean them up? Do the members of these organizations have to receive recognition in the newspaper before they take action?
If anyone wants to be aware of a community organization that does outstanding work for the local populace, and yet is not always blowing their horn, check out the Ouray Hiking Trails Group. Every week there are members on the trail cutting trees and picking up trash. It is very intensive work with lots of physical labor involved. However, there are no newspaper articles that I am aware of, and very little other publicity. Just results.
I will challenge anyone, or group, to help me start to clean up some of the mess others have left. I will furnish pack animals and my labor for some of the harder to reach areas such as Anthracite Creek. I am sure others know of more local areas that need to be cleaned up.
We all need to pitch in and say yes to taking care of our lands. If people are going to be pigs on our public lands, we need to at least clean it up.
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