Take Personal Responsibility for Cleanup

All too often, people come along and say: “there oughta be a law” or “government should do….” This view was expressed relative to the Petroglyphs National Monument by a group called Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.

While I certainly respect PEER’s having called attention to this issue, I find fault with the attitude that more government is the answer to cleaning up this national monument. My letter which can be found below was printed recently in the paper:

Certainly, it is hard to disagree with the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility that “something” needs to be done to clean up trash and junk at the Petroglyph National Monument. The question is, how?

Study after study by the Government Accountability Office has found that the federal government is incapable of adequately managing its own lands. In 2003, the GAO reported that the National Park Service’s maintenance backlog was more than $5 billion. Since then, federal land acquisitions have accelerated, placing even greater burdens on an obviously inefficient and overstrained system.

While the City of Albuquerque’s lands are much more limited, governments inevitably suffer from unlimited demands upon limited resources. Patrolling for dumping never seems to be at the top of the priority list (usually for good reason).

Rather than waiting for either government to act, perhaps PEER and other concerned citizens could put together volunteer groups to clean up the Petroglyphs? Perhaps they could even form a non-profit to actually clean up the land rather than lobbying the government to do so? The size and scope of the federal government’s indebtedness need not be re-stated in full detail here and this seems like one small way in which we can take responsibility for improving our small portion of the country without waiting for someone from the government to do it for us.

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3 Replies to “Take Personal Responsibility for Cleanup”

  1. Send out the inmates. Or maybe one or some of the well meaning civic groups that clean stretches of the highways can do it. Personally I think these groups should rethink their involvement. Basically they are “Slob Enablers.” Their heart is maybe in the right place but helping with literacy programs or similar activities might be more meaningful. Wow, can you imnagine that if asked what kind of community service they do their response can be “I enable slobs!” HIgh fines and community service (like cleaning litter from public places) for “intentional litterers” should be the law, the rule and enforced. If steep enough they might not want to take the chance of getting caught. By ther way, many of the government programs are “poor citizenery” enablers, need to be rethought and dumped! Oh well, preaching to the choir. Send out the inmates.

  2. If someone tried to clean up these area they would probably end up violating some federal law. I can just see some group out in the desert trying to clean up old construction debris getting fined for some reason or another.

    1. Michael,

      It’s sad, but probably true. Given the sorry state of affairs of our Federal government, and its so called environmentalist actovist supporters, those who might dare to clean up such messes probably would be fined, or worse.

      Although, and if they had a real desire to walk the walk, then they could attempt to navigate whatever red taped laddened pathway that does exist to do so…and it wouldn’t hurt to bring some media along in order to expose the red tappers traps along the way.

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