Bin there; Recycle that
November 15, 2009
The U.S. Forest Service recently installed monofilament recycling containers at three popular fishing spots in Grand County.
“The recycling program benefits all residents and visitors of the Arapaho National Recreation Area who appreciate our unique recreation and wildlife resources and value a clean environment,” said Brock McCormick, wildlife biologist for the U.S. Forest Service.
Monofilament can last hundreds of years in the environment and poses a risk to humans and animals.
“Locally we have had numerous problems with wildlife becoming entangled in fishing line,” McCormick said. “Recent examples include eagles, pelicans, waterfowl and osprey (of which Grand County hosts the largest breeding population in the state).”
Some animals become entangled accidentally, as fishing line is difficult to see. Other animals are simply curious or mistake discarded line as nesting material or food. This can result in entanglement and death.
Discarded line can also impact boats and humans. Boat props and pumps are frequently fouled with fishing line and people can be caught by hooks hidden in discarded line.
The monofilament recylcing program aims to place bins in high-use fishing areas around the county, starting with a pilot program of three bins which were installed Oct. 22 in the Arapaho National Recreation Area at: Willow Creek Canal Picnic Ground on Lake Granby, Point Park Picnic Ground on Grand Lake and Green Ridge Boat Launch on Shadow Mountain Reservoir.
Monofilament will be collected from the recovery and recycling bins and cleaned of hooks, weights, trash and debris. It is then shipped to the Berkley Pure Fishing Company in Iowa, where it is melted down and used to make tackle boxes, line spools, and other fishing products.
The recovery and recycle sites will be run and maintained cooperatively by the forest service wildlife and recreation programs. Expansion of the project may include more bin sites, distribution of educational materials, and the involvement of volunteers.
While monofilament recovery and recycling programs are currently being run in 26 states and 8 countries, “We believe this to be the first such program in the state of Colorado,” McCormick said.
Expansion of the project will require groups or individuals to adopt a monofilament recovery and recycling station. This would involve the simple monitoring of a bin and would be a great project for scouts, 4-H groups, fishing clubs, school clubs or service oriented organizations or individuals, McCormick said.
Suggestions for bin locations are encouraged. Interested groups or individuals wishing to volunteer should contact Brock McCormick at (970) 887-4108 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org