4th of July partiers trash the San Gabriel Mountains

Volunteers are taking matters into their own hands as piles of trash continue to grow in the picnic areas of East Fork near the San Gabriel River in the San Gabriel Mountains.

Over the Fourth of July weekend, Nathan Nunez with Canyon City Environmental Project said he saw six different trash piles the size of a small car.

Among the mounds of garbage, he saw everything from food and condoms, to machetes and axes. On Monday, the forestry removed three truckloads of trash. 

"These piles are getting bigger and bigger and difficult for the forestry and other agencies to take care of and resolve. It's becoming a big issue. It's beyond capacity," Nunez told FOX 11. 

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He said trash has always been a problem, but it continues to grow as more and more people visit the canyon. He said the area is overwhelmed with visitors and forest services can not keep up with the demand.

"That's why you get the conditions you are seeing up here. There's just too many people in a specific area at a given time. It has to be regulated."

He told FOX 11 that the park needs more visitor management and the number of visitors needs to be controlled. He also said the root of many of the San Gabriel Canyon issues steam from the river and access to the water. 

"People are coming up here because they want access to water because they don't have it down below. So they're coming up to these spaces, accessing the water, but at the same time there's too many people for one area and it's over capacity, it overwhelms the area, that's why you get the trash and what you see today," Nunez explained. 

Joel Glen started East Forks Golden Preservation in 2018. Since then, at every cleanup, he said he's collected over 800 pounds of trash within a half-mile radius of the Oaks picnic area. 

He's also seen multiple illegal fires, trash in the dams, and bears eating trash. 

The volunteer cleanup will be held for Sunday, July 14 at 8 a.m. at the Oaks picnic area.