Forest cleanups begin at Buchanan

March 28, 2001|By STACEY DANZUSO, Chambersburg

Forest cleanups begin at Buchanan

MERCERSBURG, Pa. -- A strip of Pa. 16 in Buchanan State Forest littered with old furniture and trash will be the first of several areas in the county cleaned up under a state program.

Last month, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources released a list of about 150 illegal dump sites on state forest and state parks land it would tackle under Gov. Tom Ridge's Forest Land Beautification Program.

The sites are scattered throughout 18 Pennsylvania counties, including Franklin and Fulton.

The stretch of Pa. 16 in Peters Township will be the first in the county this year PA CleanWays, the cleanup contractor, will undertake.

The agency has about 20 volunteers lined up, including students at the Mercersburg Academy to aid in the April 7 cleanup, said Sue Horning, central Pennsylvania field specialist with PA CleanWays.


But Horning said she needs more volunteers to help clear out the estimated three or four truckloads of daily trash, furniture and remodeling waste dumped in that region of Buchanan State Forest.

The Forest Lands Beautification Act, signed into law in 1998, provides up to $7.5 million over five years to clean up existing dumps on state forest and park lands by recycling or properly disposing on the waste.

PA CleanWays has identified a dozen other illegal dump sites in Franklin County portions of Buchanan, Michaux and Tuscarora state forests.

An estimated 27 to 34 truckloads of old tires, appliances, shingles and construction debris litter the forests in the county.

At least two areas of Michaux State Forest are scheduled for cleanup April 21, including the area of Irishtown Road in Guilford Township where there is about a half-truckload of yard waste, shingles and construction and demolition debris, and Kettle Springs Road in Guilford Township where there is as much as 10 truckloads of trash, including remodeling and yard waste.

The cleanups are among 30 scheduled this year as part of the statewide effort by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to clean up dumpsites in state parks and forests.

Volunteers are needed for all of the planned cleanups, and those interested should call 1-877-772-3673 or e-mail

"Local involvement is the key to our success," said John C. Oliver, secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. "We need to get to the root of the problem, and we need the help of local citizens and business to get us there."

Area residents will be monitoring the sites after the cleanup to deter future dumping.

The April 7 cleanup in Peters Township will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sheetz of McConnellsburg, Pa., will provide lunch for the volunteers, Horning said.

Volunteers do not have to stay all day. They are advised to wear boots and long pants.

Parking at the site is restricted to the truck carrying away the debris, and volunteers will be shuttled to and from a nearby parking lot.

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