Illegal dumping causing problems on Walker family land
Pudlicki said people dump household trash, hazardous waste and yard waste. Also they abandon vehicles in the forests around Westwood. In 2007 a cleanup of a hazardous waste dump north of town cost Beaty and Associates almost $5,000. Items dumped included oil, old paint, grease and several five gallon buckets and 55 gallon drums.
Another problem is the environmental damage caused by off-road vehicles. Most people stay on the roads and respect the property but a few like to test their four-wheel drive vehicles in the mud, said Pudlicki.
The Walker family wants the land they own to be open for public day use but installing gates on all roads that provide access to the private property has been talked about, according to Pudlicki. He added the gates are not imminent but they are being discussed.
“People feel it is their right to use the private property for their recreation but it is really a privilege, not a right,” said Pudlicki.
In addition to dumping and environmental damage, drinking parties around campfires in the woods have been creating fire hazards. Pudlicki said he finds party sites strewn with beer cans, wine and liquor bottles. Often the campfire has not been properly extinguished.
A few years ago Beaty and Associates created a fuel break around Westwood, thinning the forest because fire was a major concern.
Pudlicki would like to see waste disposed of at the Lassen County dumpsites and yard waste, such as pine needles, leaves, lawn clippings and tree limbs, taken to Mt. Lassen Power.
Lassen Regional Solid Waste Management charges $7.50 per cubic yard for household trash. Vehicles can be dumped for free as long as the owner has a pink slip or a junk slip from the DMV.
By the end of October or early November Lassen County residents will also be able to dispose of hazardous waste at Bass Hill, Westwood, Herlong and Bieber, said Debbie Rivas, an account technician with LRSWM.
Grant money has provided the funds needed to put a hazardous waste program in place that includes staff training. Prior to this program Lassen County would periodically hold a one-day event to collect hazardous waste but it was costly, said Rivas.
She estimated the cost to be about $30,000 foe the event.
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