Trash dogs

Trash Dogs Jerry, Sweeney, CeCe Johnson, Steve Lowe, Gary Maschmeyer, James Fournier, Mark Anderson, and Wayne Sundin.

Trash Dogs, the volunteer organization known since 2007 for "cleaning up the forest one pile at a time," has called off the Dogs. After scores of cleanup events accomplished by enthusiastic volunteers and funded by public generosity and U.S. Forest Service grants, dissolution of the nonprofit public benefit corporation became effective Sept. 2.

Trash Dogs board of directors made the difficult decision to dissolve after consideration of numerous factors, including the end of public cleanup events for the foreseeable future due to social safety measures made necessary by the COVID-19 pandemic. On a positive note, the last several years have shown promising improvement on the illegal trash-dumping front. The Chetco Bar fire of 2017 seemed to be a turning point. There have been far fewer dumpsites reported to Trash Dogs by the public, by local law enforcement or by Forest Service personnel than in years preceding the fire. The best case scenario for healthy and beautiful forests and waterways includes lack of need for an organization like Trash Dogs.

Special acknowledgement and thanks go to the founding father — or rather the Lead Dog — of Trash Dogs, Ed Gross. His ceaseless devotion to the Trash Dogs mission with founding participants Harve Timeus, Ray Sundblad and Jerry Sweeney has contributed to a healthier environment for fish, wildlife, forest soil, drinking water and the users of our local forestlands and waterways. Gratitude also goes to the late Bobbie Gross, otherwise known as the "Cookie Lady," for many years of baking homemade cookies for Trash Dog volunteers to enjoy on cleanup outings.

Additional acknowledgement and thanks to the current Trash Dogs board of directors and officers for their service, Wayne Sundin, Steve Lowe, Victor Ortega and Mark Anderson, as well as administrator Kitt Carsten.

The greatest thanks and recognition belong to the financial donors and volunteers whose environmental awareness, community concern, generosity and participation made the Trash Dogs mission possible and successful. Curry Transfer and Recycling deserves recognition as well for providing Trash Dogs a 25 percent discount on dump fees.

In an effort to disburse the nonprofit's remaining funds in a manner reflective of Trash Dogs’ donor diversity, the board selected six nonprofit organizations within Curry County to receive equal shares of the funds. It is hoped that Trash Dogs contributors may feel gratified that their donations were paid forward to the following worthy causes: Wild Rivers Land Trust, Curry Citizens for Public Land Access, Community Center (previously Senior Center) of Gold Beach, Curry Community Cares, Coastal Home Health & Hospice, and Brookings Harbor Community Helpers.

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