The illegal dump site near Elmo after its clean-up. The site is on SITLA land and SITLA and local officials are asking everyone to help keep the site clean.
For the past 60 years, a section of trust land three miles east of Elmo has been the site of wide-ranging illegal trash dumping by some residents of the local area. Trash from dumping covered a 20-acre spot with wind-blown garbage spreading over a one-square mile area. This dumping created a prominent eye-sore and health and safety hazard.
The Trust Lands Administration recently led a cooperative effort to clean up the site. In November the agency spent more than $15,000 to complete the removal of 1,100 tons of garbage. Emery County contributed to the project by allowing the trash to be removed to the county landfill at no charge to SITLA and providing extended operating hours to expedite the task.
According to Ray Petersen, Emery County Public Lands director, "Emery County Public Lands Council identified illegal dump sites as an activity with potential impacts to numerous natural resources a number of years ago. The council has also encouraged land management agencies to address the issue in whatever means will be effective. The Trust Lands Administration is to be commended for the action they have taken at this site."
Emery County Commissioner Gary D. Kofford said, "I would like to express my appreciation to SITLA and its staff, Emery County Road Supervisor, Morris Sorensen, and other Emery County Road Department and landfill employees for their combined efforts in cleaning up unauthorized garbage that was dumped on SITLA land in Emery County. The county will continue to work with affected land owners in cleaning up other unauthorized dumping."
Commissioner Kofford added, "In the future, I would encourage the citizens of Emery County to take pride and ownership in the lands surrounding their communities and stop the unlawful dumping practices. Please use the dumpsters provided in the cities and at the county landfill."
Law enforcement officials are now patrolling the area.
SITLA Director Kevin Carter applauded the county for joining in the cleanup effort, "There are 336,000 acres of trust land scattered throughout Emery County and those lands are managed for the benefit of Utah's schoolchildren and other public institutions. It's important that these lands be managed and used respectfully. By doing so, everyone benefits."
SITLA is an independent state agency that manages 3.4 million acres of Utah trust lands for the benefit of Utah's schools and other public institutions. Money generated from the school trust lands is deposited in the state Permanent School Fund, a perpetual endowment that annually distributes income to each K-12 public school in Utah.