• Outdoors Outdoors

Officials issue warning after discovering debris at national wildlife refuge: 'You will be prosecuted'

"We need to treat our lands better than this."

"We need to treat our lands better than this."

Photo Credit: iStock

Somebody dumped a bunch of paint and renovation debris in the middle of a national wildlife refuge in Colorado — and officials at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge are not happy about it, KDVR reported.

"Our public lands belong to all Americans. We need to treat our lands better than this for future generations to enjoy. We will catch you and YOU WILL BE PROSECUTED," Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR (@USFWSRMA_Alert) posted on X (formerly Twitter).

Deputy Refuge Manager Megan Klosterman spoke to the local Fox affiliate and went into further detail about the trash, which appeared to consist of the aftermath of someone's bathroom remodel — including a bathtub, cabinets, doors, and "all kinds of stuff."

"When I went to pick up one of the bags, I didn't realize it was full of paint," she said. "Making our federal staff go out there and put in their time and energy to clean it up, taking that time away from other tasks that they could be doing to manage the refuge. And, also, paint on the landscape isn't great for the environment either."

Dumping trash anywhere — but especially in the middle of a wildlife refuge — does not demonstrate the proper level of respect for nature and for our environment. Klosterman said that this was not the first time that something like this had happened, and that the act could "break that trust that we've built with the public."

The refuge's followers on X were disgusted by the disrespect for nature.

"That's disgusting. If I saw anyone do that, I'd drop a dime in a second. The Arsenal needs to stay pristine. I'm really angry this happened," wrote one commenter.

Illegally dumping waste is terrible when individuals do it — what's even worse is when it's done by government agencies and large corporations, which is all too common as well.

When you find debris like this, you can call the local law enforcement to report it. It's every person's responsibility to educate themselves on the proper ways to interact with nature in a respectful manner. You can also look for local climate initiatives to join to help make a difference.

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