4-wheelers plan Greenhorn Creek cleanup
Some rural property owners in Nevada County wouldn’t mind seeing off-road vehicles banned from the backcountry all together.
However, not all four-wheelers are out to trash the landscape and cause a ruckus.
Shawn Beachell and about 40 other local off-roaders will head to Greenhorn Creek Saturday to clean up the area, which is notorious for illegal dumping and other illicit activity.
“I’ve got a 2-ton flatbed truck that will haul 12 to 14,000 pounds of trash, and we hope to fill it up,” Beachell said.
A Robinson Timber employee, Beachell said he and his four-wheelin’ friends clean up Greenhorn Creek on a regular basis, and he encourages all to join in Saturday’s effort.
“We’ll take any help we can get to get Greenhorn Creek cleaned up,” he said.
As for the debate about off-road vehicles and the environmental and the social impacts they cause, Bureau of Land Management officials say most four-wheelers are responsible and good stewards of the land.
“Our main goal goes like the old saying, ‘to tread lightly on the land.’ That’s the trademark we try to abide by,” Beachell said. “Our motto is ‘pack out what you take in,’ and there’s a lot of us that want to keep Greenhorn Creek clean.”
The county does its best to deal with the problem, but all the crews in the county couldn’t keep up with the trash dumped in the backwoods, said Steve Porter, the county’s solid-waste manager.
Porter doesn’t blame four-wheelers or any type of recreational users for the problem.
“It’s uncaring people that live in and out of the county that dump illegally,” he said. “It’s unfortunate because it’s a blight on the county.”
Porter said he was encouraged to hear about Saturday’s cleanup at Greenhorn Creek.
“It’s fortunate we have people that are willing to make an effort to keep the county clean, and I think that’s commendable,” he said.
Greenhorn Creek property owner Lloyd Mitchell has been chasing trespassers and intruding off-road vehicles from his 120-acre parcel for 25 years. He has been critical of modern society’s disrespect for the environment and private property.
But Mitchell more than welcomes the cleanup effort.
He said he gets upset when four-wheelers think they can crawl up any hill and when dirt bikes spin doughnuts in his driveway.
And he has a big problem with the rowdy parties, dangerous target practice and vehicle torching that goes on along the creek bed.
“But if it’s responsible recreation, I have no problem with it,” he said.
Mitchell said he, too, was encouraged by the efforts of Beachell and friends.
“I think we’re headed in the right direction,” he said.
Know and Go
WHAT: Greenhorn Creek cleanup
WHEN: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: East of Grass Valley where Red Dog Road meets Greenhorn Creek
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