REGIONAL— For many North Country residents, a backroad journey in the Superior National Forest is a way to explore amidst scenic beauty. But, for a few too many, it’s seen as an …
REGIONAL— For many North Country residents, a backroad journey in the Superior National Forest is a way to explore amidst scenic beauty. But, for a few too many, it’s seen as an opportunity to dump the trash.
Now, Forest Service officials are asking the public’s help to address the problem of illegal dumping on the national forest.
To understand the scale of the problem, consider the clean-up effort that workers on the Laurentian District undertook late last month. They selected a three-mile stretch of Forest Rd. 117, located north of Hoyt Lakes. It’s a bad stretch, to be sure, but the 2.28 tons of trash that the work crew collected shows just how bad things really are with illegal dumping.
The trash collected included seven TVs, 12 tires, vacuum cleaners, assorted furniture, box springs, beer and pop cans, toys and more. Total cost to dispose of the material was $181, paid for by the taxpayers.
“Once you take all the salaries and transfer station bill into account, you realize pretty quickly that illegal dumping on public land is certainly not free,” said Kirsten Rosenberger, pre-sale forester on the Laurentian Ranger District, who helped with the cleanup.
Not only does dumping degrade natural resources and the visitor experience but collecting trash takes away from other employee duties and costs the national forest in disposal fees and salaries.
Forest Service officials are reminding the public that unauthorized dumping on public lands is illegal, and this includes the dumping of materials like branches, rock, soil, and yard waste, most of which can be disposed of at no charge at area transfer stations.
Forest Service officials are asking the public to help in an effort to reduce illegal dumping by reporting incidents as they occur. According to officials, if you see someone dumping, don’t approach the violator. Instead, contact your local Forest Service office with the following information, if possible:
• Date, time, and location of the illegal dumping.
• Description of the vehicle and license plate number.
• Description of the person dumping.
• What was being dumped.
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Shaking my head
Wednesday, June 30 Report this