ROGUE RIVER-SISKIYOU NATIONAL FOREST, Ore. -- Trash along the Middle Fork of the Applegate is causing problems for campers and the Forest Service.
“We have filled up multiple pick-up trucks, 13-foot-long trailers,” said Luke Ruediger, the program coordinator for Applegate Neighborhood Network, “it’s just a huge amount of garbage every summer that comes out of the Middle Fork of the Applegate and has to be dragged out by the forest service and local residents.”
“Sometimes it’s couches and beds and big things, not just a candy wrapper,” explained Dona Mickley, a Sisikyou Mountain District Ranger.
The Middle Fork of the Applegate is home to multiple dispersed campsites, meaning that the sites have been used for years by campers but they aren’t a part of an official site.
“We’re having issues with people bringing a lot of things with them, leaving a lot of garbage, a lot of human waste,” said Mickley, “we’ve done a lot of cleanup but the situation is really getting bad.”
Neighborhood programs, like the Applegate Neighborhood Network, and other organizations hold clean-up days multiple times a year but the garbage is outnumbering the volunteers.
“It’s kind of just become, over the years, a free-for-all,” said Ruediger, “Folks will just come up here and camp and they’ve unfortunately abused the area. It’s a small minority of people that are doing it but it’s ruining the recreation experience for the general public.”
The Forest Service asks that if you plan to camp, plan ahead and bring trash bags.
“When you’re packing, leave the containers and the wrappers behind,” said Mickley, “bring the least amount that you can so you can be really efficient about packing up.”
The Forest Service would love to hear any of your suggested solutions. You can contact them by clicking here.