Littering is a serious problem on many Idaho Fish and Game properties, and Fish and Game staff has noticed an uptick in people dumping trash at access sites around the state. The department is asking people to report anyone who is dumping or damaging access sites by calling any local law enforcement agency as soon as possible. Write down a vehicle license plate number, physical description of the violator and their vehicle, and note the location, day and time of the activity.
These access sites are maintained for public use and paid for with funding from hunters and anglers, so not only are the sites degraded, it costs money that could be better spent on other things.
In some cases, literal truckloads of trash were left at Fish and Game access sites. In the past 10 months in Southwest Idaho alone, there have been more than a dozen such instances of illegal dumping, which has left mounds of trash including construction supplies, pallets, furniture, animal remains, nails, asphalt, tires and more. Some access sites have seen multiple incidents in that span.
“Every region deals with it to some degree, but we see it the most in the Southwest Region,” said John Cassinelli, regional fisheries manager. “Most of our problems are on the Snake River access sites, and we’ve had some repeat offenders.”
Cleaning up these illegal dumps is costly, and Fish and Game staff are forced to spend time and money hauling litter and trash.
“That money could be better spent improving these access sites for our hunters and anglers,” said Curt Creson, Recreation Site Maintenance Foreman for Idaho Fish and Game.
In some cases, the poor choices of a few are also impacting access for sportsmen.
“At a couple of these sites where dumping has occurred, we have placed large boulders to block off vehicle access in areas where it was historically allowed,” Creson said.
That means everyone may pay the price of reduced access because of the disrespectful actions of a few.
Those actions aren’t just disrespectful — they are illegal. Littering on public or private property within the State of Idaho is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months imprisonment and/or a fine up to $1,000, with the possibility of eight to 40 hours of litter cleanup.