As an appetizer for Public Lands Pack-Out month, members of the Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers teamed up with the Flathead Rivers Alliance to clean up water and access sites in Northwest Montana's Flathead Valley. The August 14th volunteer event was organized by the Flathead Basin Commission and the Flathead Conservation District. Teams of conservationists, including team BHA, spread out across the Valley to pick up trash in and around our lakes and rivers.
"Together, we were able to recruit 186 volunteers who collected over 2,600 pounds of trash to improve about 95 miles of riverbank and lakeshore!" said Emilie Henry with the Flathead Conservation District.
Team BHA, at the end of one very fun day, accounted for 540 pounds of that, all pulled from the Flathead River near Columbia Falls. This sounds like e ton of trash - and it was - but our three boats of volunteers were pleased to see a very low amount of recreation-related trash; however, old metal, industrial or railroad related garbage seemed to be the bulk of the trash collected on our designated stretch.
“I was quite surprised how little trash we got! "said Aaron Agosto, photographer and Montana BHA member. "People recreating on the river were so stoked to see us out there cleaning up.”
Area businesses including retailers and outfitters donated prizes for many categories including most weight and most interesting item collected (the latter was a creepy porcelain doll, really creepy...). Team BHA flexed our muscles to win 'most weight collected' by a single team, and we donated our winnings to the BHA Armed Forces Initiative Program to use for fundraising.
To find out more about the upcoming Public Lands Pack-Out - happening all September - click here.
Images courtesy of Aaron Agosto Photography.