Central Modoc Resource Conservation District
About Us
The River Center
Kids Korner
In The News
Photo Gallery
Employment Opportunities
In The News…

Pit River Clean-up Day turns up a variety of trash and some oddities

September 23, 2004
Modoc County Record

By Lynda Demsher

This year's Pit River Clean-up crew found everything from dead cats to a full bottle of peppermint schnapps during last Saturday's annual trash hunt sponsored by the River Center in conjunction with the Modoc National Wildlife Refuge and the California Coastal Commission's Clean Up Day.

The determined crew of Modoc teens, teachers, parents, children and others concerned about maintaining the Pit River Watershed as something the county can be proud of, grabbed gloves and trash bags at the River Center and headed out to Centerville Road to clean up the area from the bridge to the south end of the turnout where the old road has become an unofficial dump.

There were almost enough rusty old car parts to reconstruct a vehicle, and enough discarded appliances to furnish an apartment. A hollowed out television seemed resigned to broadcast the trash it sat on to whomever may come along and stretch out on the threadbare couch or unstuffed recliner nearby. Did the couch belong to the same person ho dumped several pairs of old eyeglasses? Scattered beer cans, and bottles suggested the hasty ridding of evidence by underage drinkers. However, the dismembered body of a Ken doll dug out of the pile of moldy cardboard, tangled plastic bags, rusty wire, smashed tin cans and glass suggested something far more sinister.

Why was Ken murdered and abandoned here along with all this trash? Was it part of some bizarre ritual involving the dead cats and the bottle of schnapps? The crew did have fun speculating about the various mysteries they stumbled upon while attending to hard work of untangling the junk for the recyclable. However, there was also a hint of melancholy among the group as they realized how extensive the mess was.

Who would just shove their trash out along one of the most beautiful vistas in the state, where golden wheat field, shimmering ponds, and broad blue sky hosting downy white clouds frames the regal Warner Mountains? Of course, it couldn't be any self respecting Modocer. Maybe aliens from outer space? Ah, another mystery for the crew to contemplate and maybe sole with a well placed cell phone call to the proper authorities if they happen to be passing by the area while some lawless litterers is lavishing the landscape with his or her lowly loot.

And when the clean up was done, it was determined that this year's Pit River Clean Up Crew had picked up 1,740 pounds of misplaced refuse. It was all piled high on a Fish and Game truck and hauled off to its proper resting place, the county dump.

Back at the River Center, prizes were awarded to those who found the most unusual pieces of trash, and the crew snacked on refreshments provided while continuing to laugh and speculate about their day.

In addition to the River Center, and Modoc National Wildlife Refuge, the state Water Resource Control Board, California's Nonpoint Source Pollution control program, CALFED, the Modoc County Office of Education, Modoc National Forest, NRCS, the Pit River Watershed alliance, and the North Cal Neva RC&D helped sponsor the event, held each year on the same day as the California Coastal Cleanup Day, sponsored by the California Coastal Commission.