Local residents, school groups and non-profits all joined together for the Great Sierra River Clean-up on September 18-19 in the Chester area.  Working at over 10 sites along the rivers, uplands, meadows and shores of Lake Almanor volunteers collected discarded tires, submerged shopping carts, thousands of feet of spent fishing line, shotgun shells and other plastic trash.

In total, 98 people participated this year to collect nearly two dumpsters of trash and recycling weighing out at 4,243 lbs.  Old tires, cigarette butts and piles of dumped building materials were among the most abundant trash items found in the Lake Almanor environment. 

Micro-trash, or small bits of plastic and glass were also plentiful at sites including Sled Hill off of Highway 89.  This site is often used as an unofficial shooting range and dumping ground which explains the broken, scattered debris.

Nicholle Crowther’s 4th grade class successfully cleaned-up the banks of the North Fork Feather at Chester Park and Dallas Tognotti of Chester Jr. High brought out both a 7th and 8th grade class to clean-up the Collins Rail Trail down to Chester Meadows and the mouth of the river.  Plumas Charter School of Chester also participated by cleaning up the fisherman’s parking lot at Hamilton Branch.

This event was part of a larger, Sierra-wide clean-up effort organized by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy.  Volunteers not only picked up trash but also recorded items found and sorted and weighed them out.  The most unusual item found locally was a flip-flop in a crawdad trap found by the Almanor Fishing Association on Hamilton Branch. 

The local clean-up effort was coordinated by the Almanor Recreation and Park District, Caribou Alliance for Trails, Mountain Meadows Conservancy and the Feather River Land Trust.  Collins Pine Company generously provided snacks and lunch and Waste Management donated dumpsters and accepted over two tons of trash and recycling free of charge. Slusher Plumbing was also integral in the clean-up effort by providing the staging ground for trash collection and disposal. 

Thank you to all the volunteers and event sponsors! This event shows that together we can have a positive impact on our local environment.

Thursday, September 24, 2015