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Trails and trash

On the trail, my horse and I pass by old Christmas trees dumped, young healthy trees that have topped, gorgeous old pines cut down for firewood, prunings, drywall, concrete and too many broken beer bottles to count.

It is getting harder to find enjoyment on the trails these days. The people who feel that that any rural area is their personal dumping ground should be facing fines and charges rivaling any minor drug possession. Dumping and littering, besides being an eyesore, is hazardous to wildlife and left for other responsible people to clean up. 

Then there are the gun owners who would rather go somewhere other than the gun range to practice their shooting. Do they not realize that their noise rattles wildlife (and my horse) and really reduces enjoyment of the peace and quiet of the forest trails? The piles of shell casing and beer bottles speak volumes about these people with no regard for the environment. I'd hate to think that someone is drunk and out there shooting toward innocent wildlife, or worse, toward me and my horse.

If the public had the authority to document and report offenders, and those offenders were forced to pay a fine of no less than $2000, half of which would be paid back to the reporting person, I am sure the back country would soon be in much better shape.

It is up to all of us to be respectful of and be guardians of our forests. 

Dana Johnsen
Penticton, BC

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