Adopt A Highway signs pulled after scrap with state |

Adopt A Highway signs pulled after scrap with state

by Kurt Hildebrand
Nevada Appeal News Service
Shannon Litz/Appeal News Service Lura Morrison stands on Highway 395 south of Pine Valley Road where, until a recent disagreement with the state, she picked up garbage since 1978.

DOUGLAS COUNTY – If Lura Morrison’s Adopt A Highway sign along Highway 395 isn’t gone now, it soon will be.

The Pine Nut resident said she wants the state to take down the Adopt A Highway signs she’s had up for four years, after what she called a dirty trick by the Nevada Department of Transportation.

A few weeks ago, while calling to have the state pick up the trash she’d collected, she asked that a couple of posts be placed to keep people from driving where she had planted native seed to reclaim an area of highway where a chain-installation area had been removed.

Instead of planting the posts, the state sent out a crew that, she said, scraped the site clean.

Morrison and her husband began picking up along the highway in 1978. After he died in 1987, she continued picking up along the highway and was joined by her grandson.

“I had my grandson start helping at the age of 10 when he visited,” said the former East Fork Constable. “We’d do this as a team. We’d fill 10-12 bags in one day’s project.”

In 2003, Morrison and her grandson adopted a section of Highway 395 between mile markers 4 and 6.

Morrison has had a love-hate relationship with the highway since 1995 when a chain-up area was installed across from her house.

Over the years, the area had become a pull-out for motorists and truckers to go to the bathroom and run their trucks all night.

“In the summer heat you couldn’t sleep with the windows open because of both the noise and the smell of the diesel fuel,” she said.

Morrison said people would leave trash and even change their oil at the turn-out.

In the summer of 2005, after 10 years of writing letters, Morrison managed to convince the highway department to move the chain-up area that was across from her house.

It took a letter to the governor to get the turn-out moved, and it was removed within 60 days, in October 2005.

After the turn-out was removed, Morrison purchased some native seed and spread it outside of the right-of-way, but along the highway to restore where it had been dug up.

She said she is pulling out of the program because the state was being poor losers over having to move the turn-out.

Nevada Department of Transportation Spokesman Scott Magruder said the state would be removing the sign in the immediate future.

“We appreciate her being part of the program, and we’re more than happy to grant her wish,” he said.