WINONA, Minn. (AP) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and volunteers are tearing down two squatters camps on islands in the Upper Mississippi Wildlife Refuge.

The camps are just south of Winona, near Homer. Wildlife Service manager Mary Stefanski says the camps were discovered during eagle nest surveys. She says one camp is abandoned and the other has been used recently.

Besides environmental hazards, Stefanski tells WKBT-TV safety is also an issue. The structures are full of nails, rusty metal and old mattresses.

A team of 11 AmeriCorps volunteers helped haul away more than 8,500 pounds of trash and metal from the islands. The city of Winona is in the process of transferring ownership of the islands over to the management of the Upper Mississippi Wildlife Refuge.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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