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Armed with only a rake and good intentions.

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by blarby, Feb 3, 2012.

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  1. blarby

    blarby Mentor

    Feb 25, 2011
    Calapooia Oregon
    First off, let me be very apologetic in the length of this post.

    It has come to my attention on reasonable( yet undisclosable, due to my not wanting to jeopardize anyone) authority that BLM/forestry in Eugene is very seriously considering closing "shooting pits" in my area.

    The reason for this is that many of the areas we use as informal shooting sites are also "rock dumps", as in areas they use for crushed rock storage used to maintain logging roads.

    Of particular concern to the BLM/forestry is that some of these sites appear to have become contaminated with things such as , but not limited to :

    Paint cans
    Motor oil containers
    Fuel containers
    Accelerant containers ( spray paint cans, lithium grease, carb cleaners, etc)

    Which have caused "rainbow sheens" in the surface puddles contained at these sites.

    They are particularly concerned that using the rock contained at these sites may distribute these contaminants along the roads they are destined to maintain with them.

    In addition, many sites have debris such as MATTRESSES AND TELEVISIONS, MANNEQUINS, LARGE BOARDS AND PLYWOOD, AND BROKEN GLASS that make traversing these sites hazardous for the crews that must regularly access them.

    In the discussions that spurred me to action, the individual seemed more personally concerned with the noticeable hazardous debris that his crews were having to circumvent, than the "rainbow sheens"...however he has bosses too, and they've noticed.

    I was not surprised by these "revelations". Nor should anyone who frequents informal shooting sites.

    I was however horrified to learn that some of my new favorite haunts were in jeopardy of being lost, possibly forever.

    I could not do nothing.

    Over the past several days, I have begun to attempt cleanup at the largest of these rock sites ( my favorite ).

    I have attached a few photos snapped by my wife to document my progress....I refused to take pictures....it was/is really bad. I didn't want any showing the very beginning for fear of them floating around to the wrong folks ( small world, ya know) She refuses to go to the end of the site, due to the amount of very dangerous stuff down there. There are literally piles of stuff making that embankment at the end you could fall in to...I have :). Once I'm done, I will attach a few clicks of the pile.

    I have come to the realization, however, that this undertaking is more than I can handle alone. Particularly the disposal of debris.

    Hidden behind the end of that rock pile is a rapidly growing pile of refuse I can't clear on my own, nor can I obscure any longer. Its contents include, ( but sadly arent limited to) about 150/200 gallon jug sized plastic bottles, 5 mattresses ( very heavy and hard to move when cold and wet, and covered in dunes of broken glass.....especially the king sized one, although at least that one had handles...:fire:..) enough broken plywood to originally build a few outhouses, 3 televisions, the remains of a leagues worth of bowling balls, two truck beds full of assorted cans ( paint, oil, and beer) a mannequin or two, two arm casts ( this was amusing), a pile of clothing about knee high...riddled with holes, a large assortment of shoes and boots, a refrigerator, 2 stoves ( whats left of them) a heap of vacuum cleaner and coffeemaker pieces, and approx 10k shotgun hulls.

    I'm wondering what I can do with this pile.

    I no longer have the ability or the materials to sufficiently permanently obscure this debris. I have been told in no uncertain terms that the rocks adjacent to this pit ( for obvious reasons) can't be used to bury the material.

    I am ashamed that I can't do more, faster. I'm also distressed to learn that there are many more sites subject to review as the spring thaw approaches, I am only one man.

    With this said..........

    The individual who has brought this to my attention has stated that he himself uses ares such as this pit, and that he has no problem with the activity that occurs there. He does however have a serious problem with the remains, and is running out of ways to explain its ( and many more sites like it) existence and resultant complications. He said in so many words that if folks would take some ownership of these sites, his end would be a lot easier........ and that these sites would draw far less scrutiny from his superiors if they weren't allowed to exist in such a state.

    So my questions are :

    1. How would you dispose of this pile ?
    2. How ( if even possible) would you prevent it from recurring.
    3. Do you think its even worthwhile to attempt this ( even though its a little late to NOT attempt it) given the circumstances.

    My requests are :

    1. If you live in Oregon, and frequent any of the Cougar Road ( near Eugene) and its extensions' shooting sites, please make note of this very true plea and remove as much material as you can.

    2. If you shoot at these sites, please refrain from bringing petrochem items to the sites...I can't rake that stuff up !

    3. If you happen upon one of these sites and I'm there....please offer a bottle of water, not a middle finger and curses that I'm blocking your weekends' shooting. ( ya, this did actually happen)

    4. If you know of any of these sites that I dont ( very likely ) please PM me their location. If you arent or don't want to assist in their cleanup, thats fine- I'll do what I can with the two hands god gave me.

    5. If you have any ability to assist in any of this, please PM me.... I would take ANY support in this endeavor. I specifically need a new metal rake....some of my tools are faltering.

    And last but not least..........

    Please forward this information to any other persons you may know, on any forums, in any gun store, or to anyone that will or would care.... we are in VERY SERIOUS jeopardy of losing the Cougar Road sites and many more.... I don't want that to happen.

    Attached Files:

  2. firesky101

    firesky101 Participating Member

    Nov 21, 2011
    I wish all our fellow humans would be so level headed. One of my favorite local ranges had a bunch of tires dumped at it. As my dad and I were plinking at some paper we set up a ranger stopped by and asked if the tires were our targets. I don't shoot tires and told the ranger no, not ours, but if he wants to drive his 4x4 down there I would help him load them up. Tread lightly everyone, the anti's will look for any reason to shut down our stomping grounds.
  3. medalguy
    • Contributing Member

    medalguy Senior Member

    Mar 20, 2009
    New Mexico
    Looks like a place on BLM land near Albuquerque where I shoot. I've tried cleaning up what I can but like blarby, I cant haul off and dispose of a truckload of TV sets, computers, paint cans, glass, and the rest of it all by myself.

    Guys, PLEASE don't bring this stuff onto public land and leave it. And if you see others doing this, please ask them to clean up their mess. We're going to lose the privilege of using public lands if this continues.
  4. xjsnake

    xjsnake New Member

    Apr 27, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    State forest in Tn where I used to work looked like a cross between a garbage dump and a warzone from all the spent casings on the ground.

    It just enrages me to see what people dump in the middle of the woods so that it's no longer their problem...
  5. blarby

    blarby Mentor

    Feb 25, 2011
    Calapooia Oregon
    What I find most interesting is that they police their brass and good hulls, and leave the crappy hulls and their trash behind.

  6. Nushif

    Nushif Senior Member

    Mar 21, 2010
    Corvallis, OR
    I am up in the Mary's Peak area, so Eugene is a bit of a drive. But PM me and I could at least help with some time to clean up some sites inbetween.
    I have a short obligation coming up here in a bit, but after that I am once again free.

    Love the fact that you're like ... Going out there and just doing something about a problem.
  7. newbuckeye

    newbuckeye Member

    Mar 9, 2011
    Why don't you contact your local garbage hauler and see if they will "donate" a dumpster for a community clean up day. You get a few people to load it, they get a tax write off and good PR.
  8. hogshead

    hogshead Active Member

    Jul 29, 2009
    North Carolina
    Well I'm on the other side of the country but the problem is the same. A few lazy people ruin it for the rest of us. Glad to see you are trying . Good luck.
  9. btg3

    btg3 Participating Member

    Oct 30, 2007
    If my job and paycheck depended on straightening out this mess, along with myriad other responsibilitites, the easy and probable action is to CLOSE IT and move on to the next issue.

    If I have an interest in keeping it open:
    1. Develop a proposal.
    2. Present it to the authorities with eagerness to adjust it to their desires.
    3. Agree on who will do what and by when.
    4. Monitor the plan and keep authorities updated with progress.
    5. Monitor the results for at least a year and report periodically to authorities.

    The proposal might include:
    1 Continuing to organize a cleanup (state specifically how and by when)
    2 Post signs explaining the issue to anyone that continues to use the site
    3 Organizing support via publicity
    4 Installing a lock box to collect a site usage fee to underwrite the cleanup expense
    5 Using lessons learned to improve on your success story and provide a model to follow for other "shooting pits".

    My bet is that 80% of the problem comes from 20% of the users. As with folks that dump, litter, drop cigarette butts, etc. there may be little hope for change without regulation and enforcement that exceeds their pain threshold.

    Best of luck!
  10. bracer

    bracer New Member

    Jan 23, 2010
    I have lived in North Dakota, Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska. There were slobs that left their shot up trash on privet as well as public land in each state . There was some privet land where I could set up my target stand and measured off 100, 200,and 300 Yds where I drove stakes into the ground. There was a large pile of dirt which was behind my portable target stand that other shooters would put their junk to shoot at. I would haul off the garbage but one day after talking with the land owner about the trash I found that the other people were going on his land without asking. He ended fenceing off the area and put up no shooting signs so I lost a safe place to shoot, thanks to the slobs with guns.
  11. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Senior Member

    Mar 7, 2007
    The Land of Bowie, Crockett, Travis & Houston
    I live in a subdivision - not open country. Even here on undeveloped lots, people use someone else's property as their personal dumping grounds. It's sad and disgusting.

    I admire you for doing what you're doing and for fighting what seems to be a losing battle. It's a whole american mindset - something for nothing off of the backs of someone else. People get to dump their garbage for no cost/concern and leave it for someone else to deal with.

    I do what I can in my own area and it's no where near what you're facing. Good luck to you and God bless you for trying to make a difference!

  12. MyGreenGuns

    MyGreenGuns Active Member

    Jul 27, 2011
    Pacific NW, USA
    My secret little spot has been discovered by slobs. I shot here for a year and the only evidence I left behind was a grassless spot I shot from and a small trail about 80 yds long that ended at a hillside.

    More recently the garbage started piling up. Not just from shooters, but everyone. I collected a few hundred pounds in scrap metal, and picked up what I could. The last time I went there, a new gate has been put up. NO SHOOTING signs are everywhere. One "No Dumping" sign.

    I hate it when good things are ruined by idiots.
  13. tnxdshooter

    tnxdshooter Active Member

    Oct 29, 2011
    Crossville, TN

    1. How would you dispose of the pile? I wouldnt, you are fighting a lost cause and wasting your time because idiots just don't give a damn and it will just happen again.

    2. I do not shoot those types of sights cuz it is illegal here.

    3. I could care less what you are doing. Just stay out of my way while shooting I don't want to have to worry about accidentally hitting anyone.

    4. I do not know of any sights of which you speak. Also God should be capitalized using a lower case g in God is disrepectful.

    5. I wouldnt assist cuz it is a waste of time. Period!

    I am not trying to be an arse just stating facts that society does not give a damn about the environment and it will just continue to happen which is sad. Believe me I am as pissed about it as you but I dont fight lost causes.

    Sent from Droid Incredible on Verizon Wireless
  14. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Mentor

    Feb 6, 2007
    My family holds a reunion for a week every year at a resort in the U.P. of Michigan. Brothers and sisters, neices and nephews from all over the country come for a week to show off new babies and spouses. Several years ago I asked the resort owner if there was a public range close by to shoot handguns, and was given directions to a sandpit where according to the owner was where "everyone shoots, including vacationing cops from Chicago with fully automatic weapons". Went there and did not see anything resembling a public range only a dump site. Did not look like a safe spot to shoot, much less a legal place to shoot. Next year I contacted the local Chamber of Commerce. I was directed to the same spot. Since it was on National Forest property, I stopped at the local ranger's office and asked to make sure I'd be legal. The lady ranger told me legal or not, that everyone shot there, so I'd PROBABLY be fine. At my insistence, she then called the local sheriff's dept. and asked and was told that's where the county officers practiced. I went back and looked again with intentions of shooting and again was embarrassed as a shooter at the mess there. Car hoods, oil barrels, tin cans and broken bottles, all shot to pieces and left. Cardboard and plywood in various shapes and sizes stapled/nailed to trees and lying on the ground.....everywhere. Again, it looked more like a town dump than a formal shooting range. I did not wish to shoot there, much less bring family out there for a fun afternoon. It was hard to believe the only legitimate place to shoot for 40 miles around looked like this.....and not only was it regular slobs makin' the mess, but supposedly legitimate LEOs.

    Sooooooo, long story short, I have yet to fire a shot in that pigsty, but I have picked up a coupla hundred dollars worth of scrap brass over the last few years from there. It's a good place to go in the middle of the day when the fish aren't bitin' and the kids are using the boat for tubin'. I assume one of these years there will be a "No Shooting" sign posted and a chain across the road, thanks to the folks that shoot there.
  15. xfyrfiter

    xfyrfiter Active Member

    Mar 17, 2010
    NW New Mexico
    Use the range if available, BLM land and Forest Service land belongs to all of us, and if not taken care of, the priviledge to use, will be taken away, and pretty soon there will be no place to shoot, legally or otherwise.
  16. FuzzyBunny

    FuzzyBunny Active Member

    Jun 28, 2007
    Put up signs that say
    All vehicles entering and leaving are photographed.
    Littering is prosecuted to the maximum.
  17. blarby

    blarby Mentor

    Feb 25, 2011
    Calapooia Oregon
    *takes notes*

  18. Tinpig

    Tinpig Active Member

    Feb 26, 2009
    SE Massachusetts
    Thanks for trying, blarby.


  19. armoredman

    armoredman Elder

    Nov 19, 2003
    proud to be in AZ
    tnxdshooter thank you for the good words and helpful attitude!

    We had the same problem at a shooting area on the far north west side of Tucson, the "dump", and when Marana annexed that area this small area was left in the county so people could shoot there, as it was related to me. It was a small depression in the desert about a hundred yards in a circle that made for very safe shooting from the rim down into this little valley. People organized cleanups every year, bulldozed firing positions, and it still got closed by people who don't give a rocks rear end about anyone else but themselves. The wildest haulaway from a few wildcat ranges were the burned out stolen cars.
    If I was up there, amigo, I'd give you and hand hauling garbage, because that's how you turn it around, one pair of hands at a time.
    What's sad is the nicely city maintained shooting range I go to, the garbage cans are chained down to prevent the from being used as targets.
  20. wannabeagunsmith

    wannabeagunsmith Active Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    This same exact thing happend to my favorite shooting spot, which was walking distance from my house, and it is now closed to all shooting.
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