Dumping a nuisance at St. Catherine refugs

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 18, 2001

NATCHEZ – Steve Brock, assistant manager at St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge, said illegal dumping of trash is an ongoing &uot;aggravation&uot; at the refuge, and he wishes it would stop.

&uot;The refuge is here both to preserve and protect high-quality wildlife habitat, but it’s also here for public use,&uot; Brock said.

Throwing or dumping litter on the property takes away from those purposes, he said.

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Natchez-Adams County has places for people to appropriately dispose trash.

&uot;And the refuge is not one of them,&uot; Brock said.

For example, someone recently dumped a pile of fish remains on the property near Cloverdale Road.

&uot;(It) wasn’t a massive amount, but it was enough obviously to create a significant odor,&uot; Brock said.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages the refuge, which was established in 1990 to protect a wide variety of land and vegetation in the southern part of Adams County. It also is home to a variety of wildlife.

Brock said he would not say the litter problem is out of control on the refuge.

&uot;But it is an ongoing (one), in a sense I would say aggravation,&uot; he said.

Not all hunters cause the problem, &uot;but we have problems at time with them throwing out cans and bottles and things,&uot; Brock said.

The refuge employees try to clean up trash sites when possible and received assistance from Adams County in cleaning up a dump site at Butler Lake last year.

The refuge also has a full-time law enforcement officer who is aggressive in handling these cases and identifying perpetrators, Brock said.