“How in the hell did that get out here?"
Josh, Zack and I stared at the old, dilapidated Hide-a-Bed. It was rusted shut in its folded position from years of rain and snow. We knew we couldn't leave this giant piece of trash in the woods today, the first Public Lands Pack-Out event of 2021. With a little bit of manpower and a can-do attitude (read: cussed stubbornness), the oxidized heap of metal springs soon was sitting in the back of the truck on its way to its final destination: the Missoula County Landfill.
Marshall Canyon lies on the outskirts of Missoula. It's a tract of public land that sees all kinds of uses. Unfortunately, not everyone treats this area with respect. Folks leave remnants of their last outing in the woods for someone else to clean up. In the run-up to Public Lands Month, the BHA HQ team spent an August morning packing out whatever trash we could find in this heavily utilized tract of public land.
Our haul? An old fridge, multiple tires, parts of a chicken coop, two beds and way too much other trash made their way into our truck beds before the summer heat took its toll.
Overall we were able to pack out three truckloads of trash from our public lands that day. We left Marshall Canyon a little cleaner than we found it. Even though none of us had made this mess, we all came together diligently to keep these public lands clean for everyone.
Being a good steward of our public lands means getting a little dirty every now and then. Sometimes, that even means an extra trash bag or two ends up in your rig on the way to the nearest trash bin. And you can be assured that your fellow public land owners appreciate your hard work.