(Hudson, Wyo.) – The Fremont County ATV Association recently held a cleanup of public lands in the Government Draw area east of Lander and south of Hudson.
Association Secretary/Treasurer Ivan Laird organized the event and 23 association members collected and hauled 3,100 pounds of trash that had been illegally dumped. This is the second time the association has held a cleanup of this popular recreation area.
“I feel that if we lead by example and make an effort, it will positively promote this area as well as our ATV association,” said Laird. He also wants to ensure that areas like Government Draw remain open to all forms of recreation by giving back—in the form of cleanup days like this one.
Government Draw is enjoyed by many for activities including target shooting and motorcycle and ATV riding. Unfortunately, cartridges and targets are often left behind and the area is used by some as an illegal dumping ground.
“The extensive amount of garbage dumping detracts from the prominent outdoor recreation opportunities the area offers,” said BLM Lander Field Manager Rick Vander Voet. “We appreciate the continued efforts and dedication of the Fremont County ATV Association.”
The BLM often partners with groups like the Fremont County ATV Association to clean up illegal dumps. The association was formed in July 1989 for the purpose of keeping existing trails open for responsible use by off-road vehicle operators. It also participates in community service projects including cleanup days the past two years at Government Draw.
In future years, Laird and association members hope the dumping at Government Draw will cease and they can redirect their efforts to other recreational areas.
“Our association applauds the law enforcement efforts of the BLM ranger and Fremont County Sheriff’s deputies, or any BLM employees simply driving through, making their presence known,” Laird said.
Illegal dumping is a long-standing problem on public lands with dump sites often promoting even more dumping in the same area. Solid debris such as cartridges and targets, appliances, yard clippings and vegetation, household trash and chemicals, vehicles, furniture and construction materials are typical, and hazardous materials are costly to remove.
Illegal dumps can pose a threat to humans, pets, wildlife and vehicles. Toxic or hazardous liquids can drain into the ground, damaging vegetation and water sources, or be ingested with fatal results. Punctured tires, cuts and scrapes, trapped animals, infestations and harmful fumes can all result from these illegal dumps.
When shooting on public lands, please remove your cartridges and targets. If you suspect violations of land use regulations, including illegal dumping, do not risk escalating the situation by personally contacting the violator. A safer way to resolve the situation is to write down the license plate information if possible and contact appropriate law enforcement. You may also call 1-888-358-2310. The BLM offers a $250 reward for information leading to the conviction of any person damaging your public lands in the state of Wyoming.
If you have questions about public lands in the Government Draw area, please contact the Lander Field Office at 307-332-8400. To learn more about the Fremont County ATV Association, visit www.fremontcountyatv.com.
– Bureau of Land Management