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Give a Hoot! Dumping trash on public lands is illegal

Jun 16, 2021 01:59PM ● By Editor
Some of the trash that Forest Service employees collected.  Photo:: U.S. Forest Service

From the Superior National Forest - June 16, 2021

On May 27, 2021, the Superior National Forest’s Laurentian Ranger District held a district cleanup day to bring staff together after a year of social distancing. Forest employees had heard that Forest Road 117, a three-mile road north of Hoyt Lakes, had become a dumping ground for trash, and decided to conduct the cleanup there.  

The District spent the entire day picking up and hauling trash along Forest Road 117. In total, they collected five pickup loads and two dump trailers worth of garbage, or 2.28 tons of garbage.  

Employees collected seven TVs, 12 tires, vacuums, furniture, box springs, beer and pop cans, toys and even an antique pickup cylinder. See photos of the trash cleanup at this link. The cost to dispose the trash collected by employees was $181.00. Almost the entire district showed up to help and two retired Forest Service employees also came for the day, making the cleanup crew around 32 people.  

“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 degrades natural resources and the visitor experience but collecting trash takes away from other employee duties and costs the Forest in disposal fees and salaries.  

The Forest would like to remind people that unauthorized dumping on public lands is not legal or free. That includes dumping of materials like branches, rock, soil and yard waste.  Please utilize authorized waste disposal methods made available by local communities. 

If you see someone illegally dumping, do not approach the violator. Leave the area and contact your local Forest Service office or the Forest’s tip line and provide the following information:  

    • Date, time and location of illegal dumping 
    • Description of vehicle and license plate number 
    • Description of the person dumping 
    • What was being dumped at the site 

Rosenberger noted that although it was disappointing to see so much trash on the forest, there was one positive that came out of the day, “it meant a lot to have the whole district back together again, even if it was while out picking up other people’s trash,” she said. 

Contact: 
Joanna Gilkeson
Public Affairs Specialist
Forest Service
Superior National Forest
p: 218-349-5134
[email protected]
8901 Grand Avenue Place
Duluth, MN 55808
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