Friday, April 8, 2011

Keeping Earth Clean

 -- Keeping the Earth Clean --

Illegal dumping, a topic covered recently in an article published by the West Kootenay Advertiser, sparked my interest in covering the topic again here.

Personally, in my own visits to the outdoors to spend time in nature away from human habitats where the only sounds are the trees talking in the wind and the birds chattering back… I’ve seen everything from tires to appliances, yard waste, vehicles and mechanical parts, to office or household waste.

It only takes a few people to do this kind of illegal activity to totally wreak havoc on a pristine area. Resulting in hazardous chemicals from zinc, Freon and petroleum, inks and lead, mercury and others – that will leach into the soil where rain-washes the diluted chemicals into the water ways. This soup will then end up in our lakes, aquifers and streams. I'm sure you've heard me cover waste in the wilderness and waterways quite a lot in the past, but let’s go over this one more time because it is so very important... and with Spring upon us, more outdoor activities will be going on.

Dumping household compostable organics and yard or garden waste in the wilderness is not acceptable. While one might think that because it is organics it will just break down and feed the soil. However what happens instead are several things: first, a pile of grass clippings can generate so much heat that it can kill the surface roots of the surrounding plants. Organics can also act like mulch smothering out native plants. Organics can bring invasive seeds from your weeds or flower plants, wreaking further havoc in nature. When dry, the pile of organics can also become a fire hazard. Organics will also attract wildlife to the area, which can become a problem if this area is located near roads, paths or trails that humans also frequent. The animals will become conditioned to eating, or building homes in, the "waste", weakening their healthy systems and encouraging a greater number of animals migrating closer to human habitats. 

I'd like to take some time now to share with you some information on dealing with the spring/summer/fall seasons:
Here in BC we can call in and share information about the person we witnessed dumping waste in the wilderness @:  
 Report Poachers & Polluters: 1-877-952-7277   
…or on your cell at #7277 

Learn about burning restrictions in BC @:

We can report a fire at 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on the cell phone. 

...The best thing to do is look in the phone book or call the local extensions for your area to learn what the local calling numbers are for the area you are visiting prior to heading out.  Make sure you have the information in your wallet or somewhere handy in the house, in the car, and the recreational vehicle. You may also want to have a list of emergency numbers for local police, fire departments and so forth on the bulletin board so that they are all together and easy to access in an emergency.  

Keep your dogs on leash so that they do not have unwanted encounters with other animals or trail users. A dog might be super friendly but you might encounter someone deathly afraid of dogs on the trail. Or worse - a dog might encounter a dangerous animal (or skunk) and bring it back to you in their panic and need for protection.  

When isolated, make noise every 5 or 10 minutes by whistling and clapping hands loudly - most larger predators will take off as soon as they hear you. And finally... 

And one last tip for enjoying the outdoors - take a few single-use retail plastic bags with you to clean up the trail along the way and to pack out your own garbage too. 

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, information about their radio program, newsletter, blogs, and more at:

* Support the Brummets by telling your friends, or visiting the Brummet's Store - every sale raises funds for charity as well!

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