On Friday, Nov. 4, the two parties came together to clean up areas impacted by trash and debris, much of which was left and further damaged and destroyed by recreational shooting, SITLA officials said in a news release. Volunteers removed all types of garbage, including televisions, refrigerators, broken bottles, and empty cartridges and casings, according to SITLA Resource Specialist Bryan Torgerson.
“A big problem is that people aren’t just going out and shooting, but are bringing old televisions, appliances, and other items for target shooting and leaving them behind,” Torgerson said.
SITLA manages 3.5 million acres of land throughout the state of Utah, including property near Ken’s Lake in San Juan County, and Williams Pipeline manages thousands of miles of natural gas pipeline throughout the U.S., including lines that run through southeast Utah.
Jared Wiggins with Williams Pipeline said he hopes those responsible for leaving the trash and garbage will learn to dispose of such items appropriately.
“People shouldn’t bring garbage that belongs at the transfer station out here at all,” Wiggins said. “They also need to practice ‘Pack It In, Pack It Out’ and to teach their children the same principle.”
Clay Ayers of Williams Pipeline said he understands that people want and need a place to practice shooting, but he strongly encourages everyone to pick up after themselves when they are finished with target practice.
“I shoot competitively, often over 20,000 rounds a year, and I’ve picked up every single thing,” Ayers said. “If I can do it, anyone can, it just takes a few more minutes.”
Galen Schuh who was out riding his four-wheeler and stopped by while the cleanup work was being done, told SITLA and Williams Pipeline officials he believes part of the problem is that the transfer station near Moab recently increased its fees significantly and some people are avoiding the fees by dumping trash in out-of-the-way areas such as the site near Ken’s Lake.
“We need local leaders to help keep fees low, which will encourage residents to dump trash responsibly and help keep the surrounding areas clean,” Schuh said.
“We want to keep this community and the surrounding areas beautiful, and we want everyone to be responsible so these areas can be enjoyed in the future by others,” added Williams Pipeline employee Paula Garcia.