Green River Star -

By David Martin

The county shouldn't be a dump


Sweetwater County is a beautiful place to live.

It may not match the definition of beauty involving lots of trees and greenery, but the rock formations, sagebrush and wildlife make for a unique beauty. While many may overlook that beauty, it’s undeniable that garbage carelessly left behind mars the high desert landscape we live in.

When a fisherman from Florida stopped by our office last week and showed us the haul he brought to town from Lost Dog, we were angered and embarrassed to see the wide range of trash he picked up from his fishing spot. Beer cans overflowed from a plastic pail he stuffed them in. A wheel rim caked in dirt and rust, as well as a broken tow cable and a discarded, rusty muffler rounded out his collection.

We’re often hearing about how residents of Sweetwater County care about the area and aren’t the people who typically leave their trash behind. However, we all know that isn’t entirely true. We can’t blame tourists for all of the dumping that goes on throughout the area. There are people who don’t want to deal with going to the landfill, so they drop their old couch off in the desert. There are also residents who think leaving their trash behind after camping or fishing will serve as a punishment for those sentenced to community service.

There are people who just don’t care too.

We should do a better job of limiting the amount of trash winding up at the Flaming Gorge Reservoir and within the county as a whole. The image of rusting metal, old furniture used as target practice and discarded beer cans doesn’t paint us in a good light.

That image isn’t what promotes the outdoor adventure widely available in Sweetwater County. It won’t bring people here to fish the gorge or float the river.

We should be more proactive in calling people out for dumping at the gorge or in the desert. The county still offers a reward for reporting litterers and we think people should be more willing to make that report. More should also be done in picking up litter already cluttering the area. While it isn’t an ideal task, volunteers regularly picking up garbage can make a difference. That impact is easily seen after the annual city-wide cleanup.

At the end of the day, it’s up to us whether we live in a pigsty or not.


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