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Volunteers take a big bite out of litter in Pa. forest

May 29, 2002|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Fifteen volunteers took to the woods at Buchanan State Forest recently and removed several tons of trash, including old tires, from an illegal dump site, forest officials said Tuesday.

Gretchen Leslie, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, said the dump site affected an entrance to the Tuscarora Trail, the only major continuous hiking trail in the forest. The trail connects with the Appalachian Trail.

The 75,000-acre forest runs in three tracts in Franklin, Fulton and Bedford counties.

Fifteen volunteers worked a combined 67 hours in late April to remove more than three tons of trash near Fannettsburg Mountain in Metal Township as part of the overall cleanup, Leslie said.

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Curtis Yohn Excavating of Dry Run, Pa., cut brush from a hillside and Beechers Auto Salvage of Fayetteville, Pa., disposed of 171 tires removed from the site. The Fayetteville firm also hauled 1.5 tons of metal from the site to a recycling center.

Lake View Motel and Restaurant in Path Valley, Pa., donated lunch for the volunteers. The Chambersburg office of PennDOT provided signs, gloves and vests.

PennDOT employees built a barrier to prevent future access to the site. The site near the Tuscarora Trail was one of several illegal dumping grounds that volunteers cleaned up in the forest.

"I have been pleasantly surprised at the number and determination of the volunteers who have cleared several illegal dump sites in Buchanan," District Forester Merl Waltz said Tuesday. "We are extremely pleased to have this site returned to its natural setting and grateful to the volunteers who worked so hard. They did a great job."

The clean-up program was created by the Forest Lands Beautification Act, which provides up to $7.5 million over five years to clean up existing dump sites on state forest and park lands.

The program is funded by the Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act. It is administered by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

DCNR works in partnership with PA CleanWays to identify dump sites and form community volunteer teams to clean them up.

To join a clean-up team or for more information, call the Forest Lands Beautification Program toll-free at 1-877-772-3673 or visit the cleanup Web site at www.CleanPAForests.org.

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