Sunday, October 11, 2020

Soggy Bottom Boys Perform At A Rained-Out Quarry

 “Neither rain nor mud nor gloom of cloudy skies stays these volunteers from the swift completion of their dedication to stewardship”!

Twelve responsible target shooters endured the showery elements to perform their stewardship magic at the rained-out Miller’s Quarry gravel pit, near Welches Oregon, this past Saturday, October 10, 2020.  Armed with implements of trash removal, they pressed on through the relentless onslaught of rain.  And they got wet.  Very wet!

The grass roots cleanup effort was started by a member of the website forum NorthwestFirearms dot com, Tim Huber.  He put out a call for help to clean up one of his favorite places to shoot and was quickly joined by several others who share the same values and concerns.  Knowing quite well, of the poor weather conditions, they stuck to their guns and got it done!

The Miller’s Quarry gravel pit has been a source of contention between nearby residents and target shooters for some time now.  Noise and trash are at the heart of the conflict.  The noise part could be improved if shooters would consider more reasonable hours for shooting, (like late start mornings and done early evenings).  Suppressors would be ideal, however, price and availability inhibit their use.  The trash part should not even happen, as it is every user’s responsibility to remove what they brought in.  Continuous monitoring, reporting and maintenance are very important to this, and any, kind of recreation.

As with most all types of recreation, the responsible users are not the problem.  It’s the ones who either don’t value ownership in the land, don’t make the effort to educate themselves of the rules, haven’t yet developed a firm set of ethics, or perhaps simply don’t care.  Many of these users can be reached through education and information, however there are some who just will not listen.  Responsible users are those who learn the rules, recreate responsibly, practice regular stewardship and help improve recreation through communication to other users.  It is good to see this kind of involvement from responsible target shooters, hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts.

This cleanup was assisted by Clackamas County Dump Stoppers, who dedicated their dump truck, and one of their finest employees Charlie, all day to the cause of quality recreation for all.  Thank you, Dump Stoppers and Charlie!

We also appreciate the BLM for their daily work to provide and improve quality recreation opportunities to all who visit our public lands.






 
 The Trash No Land organization provided an appreciation BBQ lunch and several volunteers were also members of Trash No Land.








Our twelve volunteers performed a much-needed service in the midst of a rained-out quarry.  They went home with pride in their hearts and some real soggy bottoms!  Thank you all!

Sunday, September 27, 2020

ABNORMAL YEAR CALLS FOR ABNORMAL ACTION…

Year 2020 as been an abnormal year for many things and recreational activity on our public lands has been one of those abnormalities. The result is an overwhelming amount of trash has been left behind on the lands we value so much.

As Americans, we enjoy the freedom to recreate as we wish on our public land but it must be done with a standard of ethics and stewardship in our hearts. Every visit to nature must include the ethical virtues of fairness, integrity, responsibility, and respect. We also must adhere to the values of stewardship as we share in the careful and responsible management of our great outdoors.

Public land needs your stewardship and ethics now. And what a better time to do it than on National Public Lands Day! National Public Lands Day, Saturday, September 26th, is the nation's largest single-day volunteer event for public lands. Since 1944, it is held annually on the fourth Saturday in September. This celebration brings out thousands of volunteers to help restore and improve public lands around the country.

So pack a lunch, trash bags, and your volunteer spirit. Check the area you wish to go and be sure it is still accessible due to the recent windstorm and wildfires. Plan on being the steward our land needs you to be, this Saturday, Sept 26th.

Take photos and tell us about your Public Lands Day 2020. Email to volunteer@trashnoland.org.

#TrashNoLand!

#NationalPublicLandsDay!

#CleanUpToShoot!

#StewardshipKeepsItOpen!

Sunday, September 6, 2020

A Cowlitz County shooting site gets a random cleanup.

James, A long time user, and consistent steward of an old gravel pit in Southern Cowlitz County, put out a call for help, on the NorthwestFirearms website forum, to clean up his favorite place to shoot.  He reported trash had built up recently and has now become too much for one person to maintain.

Abandoned cars previously reported and DNR removed.
He provided photos and described recent events that included two abandoned cars, a large bon fire area that is filled with thousands of construction nails and metal plates, and the remaining spring of a burnt  mattress.

 

"The spot I go is unfortunately a dispersed motorcycle riding area and a party on weekends spot", James posted.  "The problems are all three groups using it are trashing it.  The worst is the party people.

Nails and metal fills the burn pile in center of parking area
They burn furniture and pallets and have huge bonfires right where a shooter would park a vehicle.  The amount of nails is in the millions now. Impossible to clean up all of it.  So now we park a ways away and walk over to our shooting position.

The shooters leave hundreds of shotgun shells and boxes.  I've raked up the shotgun shells a few times but it's like picking up garbage on a beach.  It just floats in again later.  This year was the worst for burning furniture.  It seems everyone thinks after they burn their couch or tires it's all gone.  Well it's not.  There's springs and thousands of nails and a framework left over."

Mattress spring left over from a burn.
 

I volunteered to help him out so we set a short date for Saturday, Sept 5th.  Several others wanted to join in but scheduling wouldn't allow it, so, only James and I was there.

One person was already there when I arrived at 8:45 AM and he was target shooting. I tactfully mentioned there is a temporary ban on shooting in all DNR managed state lands. He was a bit surprised but respectfully stopped shooting and picked up his trash bag to help.  (There were no 'Closure' signs posted at this site nor any along the way to the site.)  We enjoyed each other's company and had some good conversations. He had to leave within an hour but I sure enjoyed meeting him and hope to do so again.
 
James arrived and it was just he and me for the rest of the morning. We had hoped for others to join but being the holiday weekend and this being a spur of the moment get together, we understood there may not be any more help.
 
Bill & Penny enjoying a different kind of recreation.
But we did pretty good! There is still some work to be done and most of it will be tackling the thousands and thousands of nails from in and around that burn pile! We encourage anyone who can help with that to contact us and develop a plan of action.
 
During this temporary ban on target shooting, this is the best time to go clean up your favorite shooting site. You will still need a Discover Pass, when on WA State lands, and you always need your Fire Prevention Equipment, so go prepared. You will be surprised at the difference you can make in just a half day!
 
















Sunday, August 23, 2020

Where have all the shooters gone?

On Saturday, August 15th, 2020, target shooting was temporarily closed in all Washington State managed Forests, due to potential fire hazardous conditions.  One week later I visit the Yacolt Burn State Forest and I wonder...  Where have all the shooters gone?

When target shooting is open, there are lots of people out enjoying the great outdoors and recreating in the shooting sports.  But when it's closed, shooters disappear.  Why?  Why not be out in the woods and pick up a different kind of recreation?

I mean the kind of recreation that shows our respect for recreational shooting on public lands.  It's called 'Maintenance'.  Clean up your local forest and show some responsibility for being a property owner who has a stake in our public land playgrounds.

When it's closed, it's payback time!  This is a perfect time and opportunity to go out and show some good old fashion stewardship.  Your presents is needed in our forests throughout the Northwest!  Don't disappear now!

Honestly, we look pretty bad.  The volume of trash in the forest is mostly at sites where target shooting happens.  This should not be so!  Sure, some of it is dumping, but when it's full of bullet holes, it reeks of irresponsible target shooting.  Even if you didn't bring it, you sign our name to it when you shoot it.

With the recent increase in firearms sales, there are a lot more people in the woods learning how their new tools work and becoming more proficient in the shooting sports.  For many, this is their first time owning a firearm and their first time shooting in the woods.  Many of them are unaware of the rules for target practice.  It also seems that they must think; 'There are people who clean it up', so they leave it all behind.  WRONG!  Each person who recreates in the forest is responsible for removing their own trash and is also responsible for knowing the rules for their kind of recreation.


This was my 6 hours of recreation today.  No fun when you go out to enjoy a day off in the woods and see the volume of trash.  I couldn't just pass by and pretend I didn't see it.  And all that time, going from shooting site to shooting site, I didn't see one other person doing anything about it.  Where did you all go?

Not a good place to shoot!  Trails & roads beyond.  You cannot be sure a bullet won't skip over the backstop!  NO ROUNDS LEAVE THE RANGE!  I removed it, hoping to remove the temptation.
 

A popular place, but so much trash?  Really?
 

 

Lots of CD's!  Someone must hate working from home!
 

I'm not happy with you shooting my Merle Haggard!  You're walkin on the fightin side of me!!!
 

It didn't take long for one person to put it back to presentable condition.
 

 

Arrow Head Pit.  A dumped couch.  The closure sign is on the opposite side of the pit, where no one looks!  Some shooters are still shooting there, not realizing that shooting is temporarily closed!
 

This really reflects badly on recreational shooters!  It's along one of the main roads leading in to the forest.  No wonder why other forest users point the finger of shame at shooters!
 

Poor guys!  They went to a lot of trouble setting up a rather involved target arrangement, just to have me come along and break the bad news!  Sorry guys!
 

Magnificent view to the Southwest.  Portland city and coastal range in the distance.
 

We've got to clean up our act, if we are to keep recreational sport shooting open on public lands.  Show some respect for the shooting sports, for the forest and for other forest visitors, by doing your part to give back for the good of recreation.

Commit Random Acts Of Cleanups!!!

Bill