first_imgANGELES NATIONAL FOREST – Two or three times a month, Larry Bailey makes the trip from his Torrance home to do some fishing in the San Gabriel Canyon area of the Angeles National Forest. With each trek, Bailey has become more and more bothered by the amount of debris other visitors leave behind. On a flyfishers’ message board on the Internet, Bailey learned of Operation Super Canyon Sweep and knew he had to get involved. Bailey joined more than 200 volunteers in Saturday’s annual cleanup effort, which focused on a 15-mile stretch of the North Fork, East Fork and West Fork sections of the canyon along the river. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Operation Super Canyon Sweep was presented by Public Lands for the People, a nonprofit corporation “dedicated to the public’s use of public lands,” in association with the U.S. Forest Service-San Gabriel River Ranger District, Azusa Canyon Off Road Association and California Trail Users Coalition. “Tires, grocery carts, you name it, I’ve seen trashed in and around the river,” Bailey said. “The message board encouraged everyone to come out, and I said `I’m all for that.’ “We’ll make it spiffy, but unfortunately it’s only a Band-Aid. It doesn’t fix the problem, but it helps.” “It is against the law to litter in the Angeles National Forest. I really wish more citations would be given,” said Walt Wegner, a PLP member and co-coordinator of the event, along with founding PLP member Barry Wetherby. “Some people just don’t know any better, but in most cases, people don’t care. “The forest service gets a lot of trash out of here, constantly picking it up, but can’t keep up and doesn’t seem to have the manpower. We come here once a year and with great support are able to lend a hand.” In addition to the volunteers, that support comes via sponsorship, both from many local businesses and individuals. For example, the employees fund of Boeing California made a $2,000 donation while Sizzler restaurant in Azusa donated 300 hamburger patties, buns and cheese to provide lunch for the staff and volunteers. “It takes a whole lot of people working together to make this happen,” Wetherby said. “Every year it gets better, and we’re able to educate more and more younger folks. We’re just trying to help clean up the canyon so that people can keep on enjoying themselves here.” “It’s amazing how much trash gets dumped here,” said Don Crites, another PLP founding member on hand. “What’s nice is that there are so many people from so many different backgrounds willing to help.” Cleanup crews included all ages – some coming on their own, others in groups, including three Boy Scout troops. Mercedes Castro was joined by five fellow members of the Azusa Canyon Lions Club. “We’re always looking for ways to give back to the community,” said Castro, who admitted she was concerned about the beware of snakes warnings, “We’re a relatively new group. We don’t have a lot of money, so we thought we’d give back in labor.” “I’ve been here fishing a few times, but I thought I’d come and clean it up before using the river again,” said Miles Neimeyer, who made the long drive from Seal Beach to participate in the sweep. “I felt I should pay my dues.” [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2110160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img