HOPEFUL — A group of hunters gave up the last Saturday morning of deer season to put a small dent in the amount of trash littering the Talladega National Forest.

Members of the Talladega/Clay County Chapter of the Alabama Dog Hunters Association did their part for the environment and critters, removing household trash, furniture, appliances and car tires along Forest Service Road 654A, Hopeful Road and Cheaha Road just east of Munford. Members of the Southeast Chapter of Backcountry Hunters Association, Munford Girls Softball team, the Fallen Outdoors Veteran’s group and local community volunteers joined the ADHA for the cleanup.

“This is so sad,” said Evin Stephens, an ADHA member who helped organize 41 other volunteers ahead of severe thundershowers. “This is beautiful country. It is just awful because we picked up this exact stretch of road last spring. It is such a shame that this happens way too often across the National Forest.”

Talladega County Commissioner Jackie Swinford provided two construction trash bins used at the cleanup. The bins were 22 feet long, 8 feet wide and 6 feet high and were filled to capacity with almost 400 bags of garbage from a few small stretches of road.

People are simply just failing to do the right thing. They are taking household trash and throwing it out in the woods. There was garbage on the roadside, strewn down embankments, and scattered randomly throughout the forest by wind and animals.

The Forestry Investigator is actively investigating these dump sites. Anyone with information about illegal dumping or the damage of Forest Service property is strongly urged by the ADHA to make a report with the District ranger in Talladega at 256-362-2909.

The ADHA looks forward to collaborating again with the U.S. Forest Service this fall on additional projects. Please like the ADHA page on Facebook for updates on future events. Special thanks to Allen McBride from Camp Mac for graciously providing supplies for cleanup and to the Munford VFD for providing traffic control.

Wayne Lackey is a Hopeful resident and avid outdoorsman. Reach him at waynelackey@icloud.com.