The Desert Pigs take a break from their labors above Johnson Lane on Monday. At right is Chris Pattison with Carson Demolition who donated his company's equipment and time for this project. Photo Special to The R-C by Asa Gilmore
With the tension over the Painted Rock gravel pit, Johnson Lane residents have been vigilant about what goes on around the off-highway vehicle site.
So, when old trailers and other big trash started appearing at the site last month, they called deputies to find out what’s going on.
The location has served as a base for clean-ups in the region for several years, including on Oct. 14 involving the Pine Nut Mountains Trails Association in Gardnerville.
But another group has been working on a big site further up and the debris was the final stage of that clean-up around a site in the mountain range in northeastern Douglas County.
The Desert Pigs have been cleaning up the desert around Dayton for six years and has been working to clear an illegal dumpsite in the Pine Nuts above Johnson Lane.
“We started in June 2018, responding to a post about a dumped couch in Dayton,” said organizer Phil Wooley. “We’ve been Piggin’ ever since — almost every weekend. We expanded from Dayton to Mound House, Silver Springs-Stagecoach, Fernley, Yerington, Carson, Carson Valley, Reno, Fallon, Elko, and Pahrump.”
The dump site located about 11 miles into the mountains included hauling three trailers, none of which were roadworthy, to the Johnson Lane site so they could get a tractor-trailer rig from Carson Demolition to haul them away to the dump after smashing them down to where they can be picked up.
According to their website, the group consists of people who care about the desert and are cleaning up illegal dumps in publicly accessible lands.
“We are not environmental activists,” according to www.desertpigs.com. “We are not government. We are not a religious organization. We are not a yard cleanup business.”
The organization is a volunteer nonprofit.
“We also host blood drives that have collected enough units to save over 1,800 lives,” Wooley said.