If you have an opinion then state it. Supporting your opinion with facts is best. Responding to members you disagree with is permitted if courteous.
My inclination to go pick up someone else's trash in inversely proportional to the temperature, hopefully when it cools off a bit. That trash has been there all along, a few more months won't hurt.joe bartels wrote:When is the 1st?
Another weird thing is color. The red and yellow pigments used in most items are much less light-fast than the blue pigments. An old enough trash pile will be predominantly blue.nonot wrote:The weird thing about picking up trash in Arizona is that the sun has partially destroyed anything plastic, so when you pick it up, half the time it crumbles in your hands like dust.
http://www.dcourier.com/main.asp?Sectio ... leID=70665backcountrybob wrote:LOOK AT the Prescott Courier on line ! the trash is hitting the fan!!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Since Arizona Public Service removed its 97-year-old hydroelectric dam on Fossil Creek in 2005, this rare blue-green oasis in the heart of Arizona and its endangered native fish have made amazing recoveries.
Unfortunately, as the creek heals itself with its newly restored flows, people are trying to do the opposite.
Whether intentional or unintentional, those who are attracted to Fossil Creek for its beauty are marring the very thing they come to see.
This year's federal designation of the creek as a Wild and Scenic River after years of effort has produced even more publicity and more visitors, despite the creek's remote location with rough access roads. Officials estimate that use has almost tripled over the past year.
Visitors leave piles of trash and human waste at campsites and pools, light illegal fires with trees they cut down illegally, tear down barriers so they can drive down closed roads, paint graffiti on bridges, shoot up signs and vandalize the few remaining historic structures.
Amid calls for action, the U.S. Forest Service - charged to care for this natural beauty that straddles the Coconino and Tonto national forests - has struggled with limited resources to try to reduce human impacts.
Thankfully, volunteers, universities and other government agencies are increasingly coming to the Forest Service's aid.
Most recently, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) provided a $211,825 grant so the Forest Service can maintain 10 portable toilets along lower Fossil Creek for at least two years while working on a comprehensive Fossil Creek management plan they hope to complete in 2010.
It's not a glamorous grant, but it will go a long ways toward reducing creek degradation, said Heather Provincio, ranger for the Red Rocks District of the Coconino National Forest.
"This is a great opportunity to partner with our friends at the Forest Service and advance the stewardship...to protect a crown jewel," new ADEQ Director Benjamin Grumbles said last week as he marveled at the creek's clear waters but then witnessed some of the human destruction around it. "The irony is, people are loving this place to death."
The Forest Service soon will get another $250,348 grant from the Arizona Water Protection Fund for creek monitoring and restoration projects.
And the Forest Service has appropriated $220,000 to get started on the management plan. Still, the Coconino Forest easily could spend its entire budget on its needs just at Fossil Creek, Provincio said.
The Fossil Creek management plan may not be complete until next year, but the Forest Service plans to take temporary emergency measures in the meantime, Provincio noted.
For example, officials are considering a ban on campfires, which also would help prevent rampant tree cutting for fuelwood. One employee recently counted 120 damaged or dead trees within a one-mile stretch along the creek.
Officials also are considering closing off camping close to the creek, banning glass bottles and charging a fee.
Officials are patrolling the Fossil Creek area five days per week now. During a two-day law enforcement sweep in April they issued 23 violation notices and 59 warnings for activities such as drug and alcohol use, driving off roads and blocking the road.
In only two hours on July 11, patrols issued 10 violation notices to Verde Valley and Prescott Valley residents for drug and alcohol violations, reckless driving, shooting, etc. Half the violators were on probation and 80 percent had prior convictions for everything from assault to burglary. Officers also came across two vehicle accidents.
Friends of the Forest and other volunteers constantly help employees clean up tons of trash.
Forest Service officials really hope people start taking their "Leave No Trace" messages on sign boards to heart - before they put a stake through the heart of one of Arizona's last free-flowing treasures.
(To volunteer to help Fossil Creek, call 928-203-3600.)
Group clean ups are not going to fix this issue. Close the road alreadyThursday, July 23, 2009
Some examples of Fossil Creek resource damage include:
• People have vandalized a cabin on a private inholding so many times that the owner finally just hauled it off.
• The Forest Service wants to leave the historic Childs power plant and parts of the flume for people to see and visit. But vandals already have pulled out all the plant's copper wiring, bashed in all the glass panels and tried to steal antique gauges (those latter people were caught in the act).
• People leave so much trash that the Friends of the Forest volunteers carried out 1,500 pounds including 70 large bags in May and June. On a recent weekend, forest rangers removed 27 large bags of trash just from the area near the Childs Hot Springs near Fossil Creek's confluence with the Verde River.
• Vandals regularly paint graffiti on bridges as soon as people paint over it.
• People light cars on fire and abandon them.
• People constantly remove barriers such as huge boulders from closed roads and drive on the roads that the Forest Service is trying to restore to their natural state.
• Nearly every road sign on the forest roads leading to Fossil Creek is shot up or labeled with graffiti.
• Visitors even vandalize the new portable toilets, which are costly to clean twice a week let alone replace.
• Cars and trucks line the narrow dirt roads near swimming holes, often blocking traffic including emergency vehicles.