On April 2nd a small but hardworking group of volunteers spent their Sunday morning removing approximately 500 lb of illegal target shooting trash from along Cherry Creek in the Los Padres National Forest. These hardcore Forest Stewards worked in the sun for a few hours filling buckets with spent shotgun shells and bullet casings, pieces of electronics, and shattered glass before hauling them back across Sespe Creek to Hwy 33.
This area was once a popular site for target shooters before the entire Cherry Creek Watershed was closed to shooting in 2011 due to a lawsuit filed by ForestWatch and other conservation groups. We even had a large cleanup in late 2011 that resulted in 2.5 tons of target shooting trash being hauled off.
Luckily, there wasn’t nearly as much trash this time around — no doubt a result of the area’s closure to target shooting — but there remains more work to be done after our volunteer efforts today. We plan to host 1 – 2 more cleanups at the site this year to make it even safer for California condors and other wildlife who live in the area. Check our website for updates on future Forest Steward projects at this and other sites by visiting our calendar and by signing up to receive ForestWatch newsletters.
Check out more photos from the cleanup below: