Trash and litter left or dumped on any piece of property is a problem, and when it’s on otherwise beautiful public land in the north Georgia mountains, leave it to sportsmen to step up and take action.
Kyle DeLaigle, of Homer, and 10 other good Samaritan’s — Eddie DeLaigle, Jeremy Brooks, Tracy Worsham, Wes Garrett, John Baugus, Nathan Crowe, Tom Burell, Randy Collins, Chris Berkelaar, and Britt West — took the time out of their weekend on March 11 to clean up Chattahoochee WMA.
With popular trout streams running through Chattahoochee WMA and heavy traffic from the public, Chattahoochee WMA tends to have a lot of trash left lying around on river banks and camping spots. Kyle decided to make a difference and help organize clean up the WMA.
“I had the idea of cleaning Chattahoochee WMA last year,” said Kyle, “but I never got around to pursuing it. I finally found the time and made plans to do it in March. I started advertising the upcoming clean up on the GON Forum, NGTO Forum and a few Facebook groups. I had a bunch of people interested, but wasn’t sure if they could make it.”
Kyle spent several days looking for areas on the WMA that really needed some trash removed.
“I wasn’t sure how many volunteers would show up for this cleaning, but we had a good turn out,” said Kyle. “Five members from the GON Forum showed up, and five friends of mine showed up. I previously set seven or eight designated locations that needed a lot of attention, most of the locations on Popular Stump Road. The pull-off locations and campsites from fishermen were the worst. I don’t know how much trash we had by the end of the day, but it was outstanding.”
Kyle is planning to have future clean-ups, but nothing is written in stone just yet. The NGTO forum approached Kyle about having a future clean up this fall and offered to help promote the clean-up for more participation.
“I encourage all hunters and fishermen to take 30 minutes to pick up trash,” said Kyle. “It isn’t hard. Every little bit will help. When I daydream about the mountains and beautiful trout streams, I don’t imagine the trash laying everywhere with it, and this is exactly what you are getting now. We are trying to make a difference.”
If you plan on having a clean-up in the future on a WMA or national forest, we encourage you to first contact your local WRD or Forest Service office to speak with them about it first. They could point you to an area that needs attention and toward local dumpsters that they will let you dump the trash in.
If you’re interested in helping start an effort on your favorite WMA, please make comments below to get the ball rolling, or post at forum.gon.com.