Stompers conduct public lands cleanup
The Sierra Stompers off-highway vehicle club is a family friendly group of local outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy four-wheeling in the Carson Valley and surrounding areas. As a way to show their regard and appreciation for local public lands, the club hosts their annual fall cleanup in the China Springs area 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 28.
Anyone interested in helping is welcome to attend; turn west at the China Springs turnoff (off Highway 395 about 7 miles south of Gardnerville) and drive until you see a large dumpster and orange tent. Volunteers are encouraged to bring trucks and trailers; shovels and rakes, trash bags, and 5-gallon buckets. Come prepared by wearing long sleeved shirts, long pants, and gloves.
Several local businesses have pitched in to assist with the cleanup effort. As the event’s main sponsor, Carson City Motorsports is providing tent setup and a pizza lunch for volunteers from the Gardnerville Pizza Hut. Douglas Disposal donated the use of a 40-yard dumpster as well as pickup and haul away service. Ahern Rentals is supplying a backhoe to collect and load refuse before compressing it.
Sierra Stompers OHV has a history of participating in cleanup days at a number of local areas including Johnson Lane, the Pine Nut Mountain range, and Gardnerville Ranchos sand pits. The club also pitched at Main Street Gardnerville’s “Sweep the Town” cleanup event this past April.
Event coordinator and Sierra Stompers OHV member Mike Pailliotet said he is driven to organize and participate in cleanup efforts because of his love of open space.
“I’m out there all the time,” he said. “As an avid trail user, it’s disheartening to see (the trash), and this is one way I can give back. I have a lot of fun doing it.”
Pailliotet said that during the club’s December 2018 cleanup event, volunteers filled a total of 3 40-yard dumpsters with discarded items that included rusted cars, old TVs and appliances, mattresses, used tires, broken furniture, yard waste, dozens of gallons of unopened containers of floor varnish, bags of decaying garbage, and a portion of an abandoned mobile home. The remainder of the mobile home will be collected Sept. 28.
“It’s like a chain effect; trash begets trash, and when people see trash everywhere they decide they can dump out there, too,” he said.
Pailliotet remains optimistic about the long term potential of the efforts of so many dedicated volunteers.
“Happily, luckily, there’s not as much garbage out there as there was last year at this time. (The clean up days) are definitely having an effect.”
The Sierra Stompers meet at 6 p.m. the first Thursday of each month at Jethro’s, 1281 Kimmerling Road, in the Gardnerville Ranchos. For information about Sierra Stompers OHV or their fall clean up, visit their Facebook page. Questions about the Sept. 28 event can be directed to Pailliotet at 775-552-5429.
Nevada Revised Statute 444.630 “prohibits the dumping of any solid waste, including junk vehicles, garbage, rubbish, construction/demolition debris, yard debris or other refuse at any place other than at a facility designated for such purpose.” More than an eyesore, improperly disposed refuse also poses a threat to the surrounding soil and water supply due to potential contamination.
Illegal dumping on Nevada public lands is a misdemeanor and can result in civil and criminal penalties including revocation of business licenses and community service sentences.
Citizens may report dumping violations to a local health officer, game warden, sheriff’s deputy, police, or other peace officer. Information leading to the conviction of any person or persons violating NRS 444.630 will be rewarded with $100.
Information can be found on the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection website at ndep.nv.gov.
Amy Roby can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.