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‘Pack it in, pack it out’

Unfortunately, this litter does not stand alone.

Photo credit: CSKT Department of Natural Resources

Litter has once again polluted a crucial ecosystem, as a pile of waste was found near a nature preserve in Montana that serves as habitat for several important bird species.

Officials with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Natural Resources Department in Montana discovered the trash, including dozens of beer bottles, last month at Safe Harbor Marsh on the west coast of Flathead Lake.

According to the local Lake County Leader in Montana, the swamp is a pristine wetland created by a continental glacier. A Montana Audubon fact sheet notes that it covers 53 acres and is home to 130 species of birds, some of which are endangered or unique.

“They trust that the swamp will remain clean and free of human waste, as well as other invaders such as invasive plant and aquatic species,” Stephanie Gillin, education program manager for the NRD, said of the local wildlife. “Make sure you take trash with you when recreating in all tribal lands – pack it in; pack it out!”

She also asked visitors to check the area for any spilled food or trash and not to leave any traces. “Burning waste is never recommended as it will attract wildlife such as bears to the site,” Gillin added.

Unfortunately, the litter in Safe Harbor Marsh is not an isolated incident, as people continue to indulge their own desires when traveling through nature without thinking about the possible consequences.

Tourists in Yosemite to Yellowstone continue to ignore warnings — intended to protect the environment and the individual — by veering off route, and one man was convicted of two federal violations after digging a waterway between Lake Michigan and the nearby Platte River for better boats. access.

Leaving as small a footprint as possible when visiting sensitive environments protects flora and fauna from human impacts and ensures that they can be enjoyed by future generations.

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