BLM partnering with offroading club for trail cleanup project. Here's how you can help. - East Idaho News

BLM partnering with offroading club for trail cleanup project. Here’s how you can help.

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IDAHO FALLS – The Snake River Offroading Club is partnering with the Bureau of Land Management for a trail cleanup project in Shelley on Saturday.

The group is meeting at 9:30 a.m. on May 18 at 510 State Street and will clean up debris along the Hell’s Half Acre trail at West 1000 North.

Larry Ballard, a member of the Snake River Offroading Club, tells what the clean-up project will entail.

“We’re hoping to have as many bodies as we can to pick up trash from random dump offs — mattresses, spent gun shells, anything we can find and make it look pretty,” Ballard says. “You can only get so far back into the trail to dump without having a major off-road vehicle, so we’re just going to clean until we can’t clean anymore.”

BLM is providing trailers to put the trash in. Four-wheelers and other off-road vehicles are welcome. Anyone who feels inclined to participate is invited.

Snake River Offroading is a nonprofit that was formed in 1999. Its purpose is to promote off-roading on trails throughout eastern Idaho while raising awareness of maintaining public lands.

offroading trail 2
Courtesy Larry Ballard

The club has been doing cleanup projects like this for the last 25 years. The group’s main message to the public is “Please stop dumping!”

SRO would like to open more trails in the area, but club President Mike Bailey says BLM does not currently have a travel management plan. Without a plan, he says it’s difficult to make that happen.

“They’re going through the process of developing a travel management plan. Until there is a plan, there really is no organized trail system on BLM lands. Idaho Deptartment of Parks and Rec has put together a pretty good map of what trails already exist,” Bailey explains.

The debris along Hell’s Half Acre is an “eyesore” that Ballard and Bailey want to beautify and they’re calling on the community to help them do that.

Those who attend are asked to bring gloves.

“It’s a problem for the area and by cleaning it up, we’re showing the land managers that users actually care,” says Bailey. “One of the reasons we have such a good relationship with the BLM is because they know we’re good stewards. There are a lot of user groups that don’t take those responsibilities as keenly as we do.”

The Snake River Offroading Club meets the first Thursday of every month at Homestead Pizza & Bowling at 1770 West Broadway in Idaho Falls. It starts at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.

Visit the website or Facebook page for more information.