The range has been popular with local firearms enthusiasts for decades. It provides the primary free shooting and target practice area for Santa Barbara County residents to legally discharge firearms. Located on East Camino Cielo Road, near Highway 154, the location recently had fallen victim to pollution and neglect, and was covered in empty shotgun shells, discarded televisions, computers and various other forms of debris. The last range cleanup was in February of 2012 and a considerable amount of trash had been deposited at the site since then.
Late in 2012, firearms enthusiasts who were shooting at the range began discussing a possible volunteer clean up of The Glass Factory in the “Range Clean Up” discussion forum at Calguns.net website. The CGSSA, the non-profit community outreach branch of the Calguns website, recently proposed to take action at this site. Members from the Ventura County/Central Coast CGSSA Chapter began devising a plan for the largest range cleanup at the Glass Factory in recent history.
Incorporating the enthusiasm and suggestions from online discussions in the Calguns range cleanup forum, the CGSSA team solicited help from additional community volunteers and gathered resources for the event. The clean up was scheduled for Saturday, January 26, 2013 and the Glass Factory Facebook page utilized the power of social media to spread the word about the clean up effort throughout the Santa Barbara area.
The Glass Factory is located within the Los Padres National Forest and is administered by the USDA Forest Service. The CGSSA team worked closely with the Forest Service to coordinate closing the range for the clean up.
On Saturday, January 26, ninety-three local community volunteers gathered to remove debris from the range. Families, local Painted Cave area residents and other individuals from all over the Santa Barbara and Central Coast areas showed up to lend their support. Santa Barbara- based MarBorg Industries generously provided multiple 40-cubic yard dumpsters for the cleanup team to contain and remove collected materials and also provided restroom facilities.
An invaluable asset for the CGSSA team was a tractor with a backhoe provided by a local business owner to assist in loading debris into the dumpsters. Besides the CGSSA volunteers, the Forest Service provided a fire crew, and the Painted Cave Fire Department provided a second tractor along with a second crew of firefighters. The University of California Santa Barbara Reserve Office Training Corps (ROTC) Surfrider Battalion also contributed to the cleanup, providing a team of twenty-two ROTC students.
By the end of the day, the volunteers had filled four forty-cubic yard dumpsters with discarded appliances, metal scraps, shell casings, and other trash and debris. The clean up effort removed an estimated 35 to 40 tons of refuse from the site. Before and after images taken at the site revealed a dramatic difference, with The Glass Factory transformed from the appearance of a garbage dump at 9:00 AM, back to a near pristine, natural amphitheater by 4:00 PM when the cleanup effort ended.
“Our goal is to hold community clean up days once per quarter to keep the area looking cleaner and much more as nature intended” noted CGSSA Community Leader, Ed Saldana. “While most firearms enthusiasts are responsible and pack out more trash than they bring in, not all of the people who use the range clean up the area when they leave. Our hope is that by leading additional events such as these and involving more of the community in keeping the area cleaner, it will result in fewer people polluting the area and a safer environment for everyone to enjoy.”
The Calguns Shooting Sports Association (CGSSA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and expansion of the shooting sports and 2nd Amendment rights in California.
We are California firearms owners, collectors, hunters, enthusiasts, competitive and recreational shooters and others interested in safe and legal shooting sports and firearms related activities. CGSSA is a volunteer organization with a strong bias towards local chapter management by the community and members.
High-resolution print ready images from the Glass Factory Clean Up can be downloaded here until March 1, 2013.