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Public Lands Institute

Publisher Location

Las Vegas (Nev.)

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The Take Pride in America in Southern Nevada project began as a collaboration of four federal agencies committed to working together to combat the litter and desert dumping problem on the nearly seven million acres of public lands in Southern Nevada. In 2005, with funding from the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act (SNPLMA), SNAP created an interagency anti-litter and desert dumping team and developed a partnership with the Public Lands Institute (PLI) at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. SNAP and PLI managed the Take Pride in America in Southern Nevada project and launched the Don’t Trash Nevada messaging campaign.

In the beginning, dedicated federal employees and legions of Don’t Trash Nevada volunteers took on the tons of construction dumping on public lands while Clark County Nevada experienced the largest rate of growth in the nation. The continuous efforts of the stalwart volunteers earned them recognition as the Take Pride in America Outstanding State Volunteer Program in 2008. As building continued, landscape dumping quickly emerged as a battlefront for Don’t Trash Nevada. Then with the devastating economic downturn, another front in the war appeared: dumping of household goods from foreclosed homes. In the background, working as a continual threat, was the constant stream of litter from recreational users like picnickers, target shooters, boaters, and fishermen.

Technology played a big role in the third phase of the project. A Geographic Information System (GIS) database was developed and team members were trained to use a mobile version to enhance removal, mitigation and abatement planning. A system for using the GIS database to monitor litter conditions was also developed by leveraging the time and interest of concerned citizens. The technology of social media boosted the public awareness of the problem of litter and desert dumping and empowered youth to serve as the voice of the public lands.

This project compendium contains the accomplishments and products resulting from a collaborative effort to reduce litter and desert dumping in Southern Nevada. The project was funded by the SNPLMA Conservation Initiatives through the Great Basin Cooperative Ecosystem Study Unit (CESU). The achievements of this project would not have been possible without the commitment and participation of many people within the four federal land management agencies, the CESU program, UNLV, and the Clark County community. The successes captured in this compendium are impressive. Yet the biggest accomplishment continues as the impact of developing a community of citizens actively involved in caring for the land will be felt far into the future.

Controlled Subject

After-school programs; Interagency coordination; Litter prevention; Nevada; Pollution prevention; Voluntarism; Volunteers


Civic and Community Engagement | Community-Based Learning | Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Sciences | Natural Resources and Conservation | Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology | Sustainability

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11,900 KB




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