I was in New York City over the weekend for a wedding, but was very disheartened when I finally read this story in my news backlog: over the long weekend, many parts of the Angeles National Forest were utilized by residents. That’s the good news. The bad news is that those citizens apparently never learned to pick up after themselves.

KCAL reports that in one canyon alone (they never mention which one, but it certainly looks like the East Fork of the San Gabriel River in the accompanying video) had upwards of 30,000 pounds of trash left in it over the long weekend. THIRTY. THOUSAND. POUNDS.

East Fork, especially the lower stretches near the trailhead, has had its litter problems in the past, but this is ridiculous. In the video, trash is shown left on the ground all over the canyon, even where dumpsters were nearby. Full collections of lawn furniture were discarded in the water, along with plastic bottles, wrappers, and used diapers – all in the watershed that supplies Los Angeles with 35% of its drinking water.

We have a lot of readers who volunteer in or around that canyon picking up trash, and many many options have been discussed for this ongoing problem. But this weekend makes it clear those solutions aren’t working yet.

Last month, Thomas Contreras was named Supervisor of the Angeles National Forest. I know he’s got a lot on his plate right now, with the constant underfunding, the Station Fire recovery efforts, and another fire season about to begin – but litter, specifically in the East Fork area – is definitely an issue that needs to be on his radar.

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