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FWP discourages littering, dumping at sites

 


Many fishing access sites and other sites administered by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks have seen increased use this spring as people enjoy the outdoors in the midst of COVID-19. FWP encourages people to get outside but urges all recreationists to be good stewards of these sites. They belong to everyone and are maintained through the sale of hunting and fishing licenses.

FWP staff have come across several incidents lately of still-smoldering campfires at fishing access sites and Wildlife Management Areas, and of noncombustible items being dumped into and around firepits.

For example, a window air-conditioning unit was recently discarded on a picnic table in Region 7 at East Rosebud FAS near Forsyth.

“There’s a lot of dumping things into the firepits and expecting the next person to burn it,” said Forsyth-area Game Warden Wyatt Pickens. “Some are treating them like trash cans.”

People may not see a problem with leaving trash in or near firepits to be burned later, but the trash may blow away, pile up and create a fire hazard, or attract bears and other wildlife - increasing chances of encounters with humans. Items like glass, plastic and metal also don’t break down after burning, leaving litter and hazards for the next camper.

Littering while hunting, fishing or using public lands is punishable by a fine and a one-year suspension of hunting, fishing or trapping privileges, Pickens noted.

Recreationists are asked to be conscious of fire danger and thoroughly extinguish any campfires with water or dirt before leaving the area. It takes only a light breeze for coals to reignite and spread. Do not use the firepits as a place to discard trash or other items. All visitors should use the trash receptacles provided or pack their trash out with them. Also, dumping of items at FWP sites is illegal.

The extra time spent cleaning up littered sites takes away from staff time to maintain them for everyone’s enjoyment. FWP invites you to enjoy the outdoors this summer, but please help us to keep these public resources in top shape!

To report instances of dumping, littering or vandalism at FWP sites, call 1-800-TIP-MONT or contact your area warden or regional FWP office.

 

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