Categorized | News, Volunteering

Park trash picked up, wilderness quality restored

Park employees and volunteers picked up 500 pounds of trash from the park's wilderness area. (Photo courtesy Hawaii Volcanoes National Park)

Park employees and volunteers picked up 500 pounds of trash from the park's wilderness area. (Photo courtesy Hawaii Volcanoes National Park)

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Recently, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park rangers, resource managers, maintenance workers, firefighters, and community members pulled together to remove more than 500 pounds of trash and abandoned equipment from the park’s mountain and coastal wilderness.

Items included food, containers, magazines, surfboards, fishing tackle, and camping gear. 

Rangers believe some back country hikers stash these items with the intention of returning and using them at a later date.

Others abandon their stuff in cabins and campsites rather than carry it out.

“We treat everything left behind as refuse and remove it as soon as possible,” said Park Ranger John Broward. “If we don’t, trash piles up.”

The refuse—which also included washed-up fishing tackle, nets, and other flotsam—was gathered in centralized locations where it was picked up and flown out by helicopter.

Hawaii Volcanoes protects more that 123,000 acres of legislated wilderness on Mauna Loa and Kilauea and encourages hikers to practice the principles of “Leave No Trace.”

“There’s one simple thing we can all do to help preserve the true wild nature of wilderness,” Broward said. “If you pack it in, pack it out.”

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