Public lands cleanup effort near Sand Hollow finds less garbage than previous years

National Public Lands Day cleanup effort at the Sand Mountain OHV area, Washington County, Utah, Sept. 30, 2017 | Photo courtesy of Dennis Nash, Red Desert Off Road/LINE-X of Southern Utah, St. George News

WASHINGTON COUNTY — Eighty-four volunteers from four local off-road groups turned out Saturday in honor of National Public Lands Day to clean up trails and staging areas in the popular Sand Mountain OHV Area and at beaches along Sand Hollow Reservoir.

A participant in a National Public Lands Day cleanup effort at the Sand Mountain OHV area install a flagpole, Washington County, Utah, Sept. 30, 2017 | Photo courtesy Desert Roads and Trails Society, St. George News

Participants included members from Utah Public Lands Alliance, the Desert Roads and Trails Society, the South West Adventure Group and a local UTV club.

“We’ve been doing this for several years and each year we get more and more people that come out and we pick up less and less trash,” Desert Roads and Trails Society President Jeff Bieber said.

“We only picked up about 3 cubic yards of garbage today,” Bieber said. “That means we’re making a difference because people aren’t throwing their garbage out because they already see garbage out there. We’re keeping it cleaned up.”

Red Desert Off Road/LINE-X of Southern Utah, a local off-road shop located in St. George, participated in the cleanup as a company event, helping pick up trash and placing signs on obstacles.

“We found very little trash in the Washington Dam staging area,” Bieber said. “And not too many years ago, we could fill a 30-cubic yard dumpster just from that area.”

“We’re making a difference, an impact,” he said. “People come out and enjoy it, as we do, without trashing it. Hopefully someday we won’t pick up any garbage.”

National Public Lands Day cleanup effort at the Sand Mountain OHV area, Washington County, Utah, Sept. 30, 2017 | Photo courtesy of Dennis Nash, Red Desert Off Road/LINE-X of Southern Utah, St. George News

Desert Roads and Trails Society sponsors cleanups quarterly, including Saturday’s event.

Read more: Dumpster filled in just 3 hours at public lands cleanup project

The South West Adventure Group, an informal organization of more than 300 Southern Utah off-road enthusiasts, cleaned up beaches at Sand Hollow Reservoir and held a celebratory lunch afterwards.

In addition to picking up trash on Sand Mountain, steel signs were placed to mark popular obstacles on rock-crawling trails on Sand Mountain. Desert RATS and UPLA volunteers also placed a solar LED light on a flagpole located near the top of Sand Mountain.

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1 Comment

  • Caveat_Emptor October 1, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    My guess is that most readers of this publication have not had the opportunity to tour this terrific series of trails, in the appropriate vehicle.
    If there ever was an example of engagement, this is it. Improving the documentation of trails, with signage and maps, plus keeping the terrain clean, demonstrate a commitment to ensure this area remains accessible to these enthusiasts.

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