Over 300 lbs of trash found along Chemung River on Klondike Island

Local News

WAVERLY, N.Y. (WETM) – For the fourth time in four months, an abandoned and trashed campsite has been found along the Chemung River — this one on Klondike Island near the town of Chemung and Village of Waverly border.

The camp was discovered several weeks ago by a group of Waverly High School boys who fish and paddle the river near the island. They reported it to Chemung River Friends who reported it to the island owners, CVS Caremark Distribution Center located on property adjacent to the island.

During the summer the camp was hidden by dense brush and trees on the island. When the leaves fell in fall the camp could be seen from the river.

“You can only access the island by boat or by walking across the river when the water is shallow in summer,” said River Friends Executive Director Jim Pfiffer. “Like most of the abandoned camps we’ve found, trash, tents, camping gear, lawn chairs, food and beverage containers and other debris was left behind to be washed into the river – the source of our drinking water — during high water events.”

“There’s probably 300-500 pounds of debris to be removed, including a self-made tree stand, similar to a deer hunting stand, about 15-feet up a tree,” Pfiffer said. “I have no idea what it was used for.”

River Friends contacted officials at CVS, and they intend to clean the island and take measures to prevent future public use privately-owned island.

It is illegal to camp on private property without the landowner’s permission or to camp on New York State Department of Environmental Conservation flood control property without a permit. The island is not in flood control property.

“We’re not opposed to homeless people or anyone camping along the river, as long as they get the landowners’ permission and they don’t trash the place and leave the debris behind,” Pfiffer said.

River Friends will continue to monitor boat launches and trails for illegal or environmentally unsafe activities and work with local enforcement to stop or reduce the problem. The public can help by being our eyes and ears along the river and trails and report trashed campsites or illegal dumping to law enforcement or to River Friends at 607-846-2242 or riverfriends@stny.rr.com.

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