Illegal dumpsites in the Chequemegon-Nicolet National Forest are becoming a major problem.
Forest spokesperson Hilary Markin says they're seeing more illegal dumping...
"...we're also getting calls from the public who sees it along a roadside and calling us to go out and pick it up, which is a task when you have a huge list when you have only so much time and money and employee strength to go pick that up. So we're finding anything from animal carcasses to household garbage, construction materials, appliances. For awhile TV's were the favorite thing to dump. Then they would go 'shoot 'em up' which makes a huge mess for people to clean up and it's also a safety hazard...."
Birds and small animals may die or become injured after ingesting or becoming entangled in debris. Fish and other aquatic species could be killed when decomposing litter and food wastes contaminate water.
Markin says, if caught, it can be costly...
"...the fine can be up to $5,000 and six months in jail. It's going to be up to what you put on the forest. You could also be forced to have it cleaned up. If there's environmental damage you would be forced to pay to have the soil clean up. Bottom line it's best to properly dispose of it and not pollute your national forest...."
Markin says if you see someone illegally dumping, to contact the local Sheriff’s office or nearest Forest Service office. Helpful information includes the date, time and location of illegal dumping, description of vehicle and license plate number, description of the person dumping and what was dumped at the site.