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People celebrate National Public Lands day

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BIGFORK -

September 30th is National Public lands day and those in Bigfork Troop 1923 were at Wayfarers state park to help clean up the park. 

Assistant scoutmaster Rob Gambino tells ABCFOX he moved to Montana with his children to reconnect with nature and to instill in them the importance of our public lands.

Gambino tells us, “There are a lot of people that take advantage of the public lands and don’t police themselves and clean up after themselves so it’s important for the scouts to see that that happens.”

With Glacier National Park close by Amy Grout with Flathead Lake State Park says many people overlook the smaller state parks.  And this takes a toll on them.  This past year Grout says Wayfarer state park had over 158,000 visitors which are up from 130,000 the previous year.  

Grout says, “Typically, we’re less funded with staff, you know we’re shorter staffed so volunteer projects like today are crucial to keeping our sites maintained.”

ABCFOX asked Grout, Gambino and Scout master Ron Wenzel what they thought the largest threat to our public lands are.  All answered similarly.

Grout explains, “The biggest threat to public lands I would say is just people not realizing the value of them.”

Gambino agrees saying, “I would say ourselves, not ourselves as scouts, but ourselves as the public and just our inability to clean up after ourselves.”

You can do your part in keeping our public lands clean for generations to come.  Make sure you’re leaving parks in better condition than how you found them. 

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