Several local off-road clubs are sponsoring a cleanup Saturday at the Juniper Dunes area.
The county is working with the Bureau of Land Management on a plan to build an access road to the 19,600-acre area, which includes wilderness areas and an area popular with four-wheel-drive vehicle enthusiasts.
Justin Linton, president of the Midnite Mudders, said they are seeking to build awareness of the site with a cleanup.
“Over this last year many of us in the Midnite Mudders have found more trash and debris left out there from people who, for one reason or another, chose not to be a big kid and take it home to dispose of properly,” he said. “At the end of the day, nails, glass and other forms of trash are not good on the environment, a huge concern for the families and farmers in that area and really hard on tires and body parts.”
Linton expects at least 50 people to take part.
Franklin County commissioners voted this month to recommend to the federal government that a new $3.8 million road be built connecting Pasco-Kahlotus highway to Juniper Dunes. They opted against buying and improving the existing privately owned Peterson Road.
People interested in taking part in the cleanup are asked to meet at 8:30 a.m. in the parking lot at the end of Peterson Road. Linton said it is OK with landowners along the road if people use it Saturday, but they are advised to stay off private property.
Franklin County sheriff’s deputies also will be helping with the effort and encouraging people to pack out what they bring in, Linton said.
People taking part in the cleanup are asked to bring gloves and a garbage bag. They can enter Peterson Road across from the Franklin Fire District 3 station at 5640 Pasco-Kahlotus highway.
Visit www.midnitemudders.com for more information.