Hunters, Vols Clean Up WA Wildlife Areas, Forests, Water Accesses

Littering isn’t just marring private timberlands. State wildlife areas and water access sites are being hit too.

The latest Wildlife Program report from WDFW details a series of messes that Master Hunters and other volunteers have cleaned up around the state in recent weeks. To wit:

Volunteer Clean-up–Sunnyside Wildlife Area: On Saturday Access Manager Garcia and his assistant worked at MP 8 and MP 10 with CWU volunteers for Earth week. We had 21 volunteers at MP 8, picking up trash, brushed and cleaned the trail, and pulled weeds. We had 26 volunteers at MP 10. They also picked up trash and brushed the entrance. Both trucks and trailers were full of tires, trash, weeds, and yard waste.

Access sites: Access staff Spangler and Rhodes picked up and hauled 340 pounds of trash as well as a sectional couch and a truckload of junk that was dumped on the Vancouver Lake Access site. Many reader boards had been vandalized at several sites and had to be cleaned and have missing signs replaced. All the Klickitat Access site holding tanks were pumped on Klickitat River. However, an estimated 2,000-25,000 gallons of cans, bottles, etc. remain in the tanks, so a vactor truck to clean the debris will have to come out of Portland.

Wenas Wildlife Area: Staff worked the spring litter pick-up on the wildlife area: Acting Regional Wildlife Program Manager McCorquodale and Assistant Wildlife Area Manager Taylor worked the north end of the Durr Road, along with Enforcement Officer Peterson. The north end effort was organized by the Kittitas County Field and Stream Club and their work to maintain this effort year after year is much appreciated. Sixty volunteers participated. Litter volume this year was less than last year. Casey worked the south end of the Durr Road where 40 volunteers participated. We think increased enforcement presence has likely contributed to less trash dumping. We also have more individuals cleaning up throughout the year.

Operation Clean Sweep–Green Diamond: Green Diamond Security staff notified Biologist Harris that their annual cleanup was scheduled for the Saturday, April 19. They requested help in gathering volunteers for this event. While it was short notice he made the effort by reaching out to Master Hunters (MHs) in Region 6 and adjoining counties. A total of 16 MHs showed up to help. Since Harris had another MH project, he was unable to attend. One MH offered to organize and keep track of MHs attending. He reported that they filled three 20’ dumpsters with about 20 truckloads. Green Diamond staff seemed more than pleased with their efforts. There was approximately eight other volunteers as well. Considering that it was short notice, turkey season, and Easter weekend this showing by MHs is amazing. Even more impressive was that they outnumbered the other volunteers even though they had very short notice.

Master Hunters were also part of a fence repairing effort at a coastal raspberry farm whose owners have kindly allowed public access for those who ask but have also suffered deer and elk damage to their crops. The project had been expected to take all day, but were finished in just three.

Scott Harris, the regional private lands bio, explained to the owners that the big effort “was provided not just to prevent another wildlife conflict or for being so willing to allow MH access for damage control. We see the level of public access they are offering and this is just our way of saying thank you.”

Thank you, landowners, thank you, Scott, and thanks to all the Master Hunters and volunteers working to keep our wildlands clean.

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