Some spring cleaning took place May 11 at Lone Mountain Park, 4445 N. Jensen St. Approximately 20 people, including about a dozen Boy Scouts ages 7 to 14 from Troop 363, descended on the park.
Everyone grabbed trash bags and gloves and proceeded to pick up debris. Their focus was on the east side of the mountain, an area of about 10 acres.
Mark Chiger, project manager for the Bureau of Land Management’s Southern Nevada District Office, said the 2½-hour cleanup captured wind-blown items such as grocery bags, as well as plastic water bottles and pieces of wood. The largest rubbish that they picked up were pieces of plywood. Not all of the items were trash.
“One kid found 20 bucks,” he said.
They found a homeless person’s campsite. There were “sleeping bags and that kind of stuff,” Chiger said. “It was abandoned. It all went into the Dumpster.”
Janice Ridondo, District B community liaison to Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins, said via email that the county took a call from constituents regarding the amount of debris.
“While walking the area a month ago, we noticed the missing signs and some large debris, and so separate from the cleanup, we (secured) a quote to get a couple of the larger piles of debris — some old tiles and some palm tree clippings — removed by a contracted company,” Ridondo said.
She said the county plans to put up more “no dumping” signs to help curb such behavior.
“I am not sure what happened to the prior ones,” she said. “We can only assume vandalism.”
This was the last cleanup planned as summer arrives. Chiger said temperatures had climbed to the high 90s by the time they ended the three-hour morning effort.
Kirsten Cannon, public information officer for the BLM, said 7 cubic yards of trash and debris were removed in the May 11 effort. The BLM tries to schedule two desert cleanup events per month only in the cooler months, September through May. Past cleanups have included the Sloan, Lake Mead, Amargosa and Sunrise areas.
Last year’s efforts, Cannon said, resulted in 270 cubic yards of debris collected.
“That’s like an 80-story building, 3 feet wide,” she said.
Chiger said he didn’t understand why people dump their trash in the desert.
“It takes nothing to put it on the curb,” he said. “Republic Services takes just about anything.”
He said the last decade has seen an “explosion” of desert dumping, first with the construction boom, which had contractors leaving unused materials, and later with foreclosed homes being cleared of abandoned items.
“The worst part is the heavy stuff where they dump, like, cement blocks,” Chiger said. “And we find a lot of landscaping — palm fronds, grass and tree clippings. Then you have your usual appliances and mattresses and stuff. ... and then you have normal shooter’s stuff, with things all shot up every time you go out there, but that’s another issue.”
In September, for National Public Lands Day, the BLM is scheduling a cleanup in Pahrump. In October, it plans to hold a Keep Las Vegas Beautiful event. For details on how to get involved with the cleanups, visit getoutdoorsnevada.org or donttrashnevada.org.
The area surrounding the base of the mountain, as well as Lone Mountain itself, is BLM land. Clark County secured a lease through the BLM to allow it to develop the area as a regional park. The county recently secured Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act funds to construct a multiuse trail around the base of the mountain.
Contact Summerlin/Summerlin South View reporter Jan Hogan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2949.