Doug Holcomb has been hiking, biking and riding the trails in the Pine Nut Mountain Range since 1983 but started seeing something other than nature’s beauty in the mid-1990s.
Garbage left by Valley residents started appearing in piles along some of his favorite trails.
Holcomb is the president of the Pine Nut Mountain Trails Association. The association’s volunteers include hikers, horseback riders, dirt bike riders and four-wheel drivers and advocates for use of public lands.
“We have to work together to keep lands open,” he said. “There is a diverse attitude in the group. We do it all.”
The club has been hosting clean-up days throughout the Pine Nuts for more than 10 years, he said.
On Sunday, the association will meet with volunteers and other trail use clubs to clean up 15 illegal dumpsites in the vicinity of Pine Nut Road.
Holcomb found the sites while riding his dirt bike or hiking with his dog and logged them in his GPS for the annual clean up.
He said that some people must think they will save money by driving their trash into the mountains but that doesn’t make sense to him.
“I was checking things out one day on my dirt bike and saw something bright white in a draw,” he said. “I rode over to it and it was nine bags of garbage. I came the next morning with my truck because I knew it was going to be windy and took it to the refuse center—it cost me $5.05 to take it to the dump.”
Don Williams, operations manager at Douglas Disposal, said he doesn’t think people dump illegally to save money.
The cost for a ton of trash to be processed at the transfer station on Dump Road is $102.43 per ton.
Most households don’t need to take a ton of trash to the transfer site.
“I think the majority of the dumps are from people who are just not mindful of doing the right thing,” he said.
Douglas Disposal has donated 30-yard bins for trash collection in the past.
“We always try to work with them,” he said. “I’m super proud of what they accomplish every year.”
Holcomb said that the group cleared 34,000 pounds of garbage last year.
Other organizations participating in the clean up include the Nevada 4-wheel Drive Association, Sierra Stompers, Bing Materials, V&C Construction, Carson Motorsports and Round Table Pizza where the PNMTA conducts meetings.
The PNMTA and volunteers will meet at Douglas County Fairgrounds on Sunday and clean from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call Holcomb at 530-577-4622.