By: Jake Lee Green
Kern Valley Sun
Photos by: Kern River Conservancy
Recently joint efforts between multiple agencies and businesses held a clean-up done from the Keyesville recreational sites down to Democrat. For four days the effort went on hauling trash and even furniture out of the lower Kern River. Day two was particularly exciting. The effort appeared to be joyous even in the face of the overwhelming amount of waste left behind after this recent Labor Day’s celebrations. Gary Ananian of the Kern River Conservancy elaborates. “It was great! Less trash than years past, but, still a lot. Our outreach teams have been busy this summer visiting campgrounds and teaching campers about ‘leave no trace’ and passing out trash bags.”
Eight rafts and a total of 25 people, including Al Watson of the USFS Kern River Ranger District and BLM’s field manager Gabe Garcia, dedicated their time and services to the clean-up. Whitewater Voyages, Kern River Outfitters, Sierra South Mountain Sports, Kern River Brewing Company, and Mountain and River Adventures were also among that group supplying volunteers and resources for the effort. Pizza Barn graciously provided food and drink for the occasion.
Joey Martin from the USFS Kern River Ranger District goes on to state that the effort is to help restore these sites to Forest Service standards to help all patrons of the Kern River have the best experience possible. Martin encourages tourists and locals alike to refer to visitors guides about proper recreation site etiquette and to visit the Kern River Ranger Districts Kernville branch where Martin says they will be installing an interactive walk-up visitor’s information center.