“We’re in the process of investigating this in conjunction with The Nation,” said Yves Roy, manager of the enforcement division for the City of Clarence-Rockland, during a phone interview April 1.
For Roy and his counterpart in The Nation Municipality, the situation is not an April Fool joke. One of Roy’s staff went out to the community forest to investigate a phone tip that came in March 31 about an illegal trash dump found by someone out for a walk on one of the recreation trails.
The city staff member found a pile of mixed construction debris, old furniture and other items on one of the trails a short distance away from the P6 parking lot site inside the community forest. The United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR) develops and maintains the recreational trails in the Larose Forest in partnership with the South Nation Conservation Authority (SNC).
The community forest straddles the boundary between The Nation and Clarence-Rockland so the bylaw departments of each municipality often get calls about trash dumping in the area. Bylaw enforcement staff from both municipalities went out March 31 to check the illegal dump site.
The report to Roy noted signs that either a pickup truck or other vehicle or a trailer was backed a short distance onto the trail from the parking lot and the garbage then unloaded. A preliminary examination of the trash has turned up “some evidence regarding names” but Roy said it is not known yet if the evidence indicates the culprit who did the actual dumping.
Roy confirmed that municipal staff went back to the site April 1 to clear away the debris. Investigation will continue on the case. If the identity of the illegal dumper is confirmed then he or she can expect a fine and a bill for the cleanup cost.
“We won’t be lenient if we catch them,” said Mayor Guy Desjardins of Clarence-Rockland during a phone interview.
The Nation Mayor François St-Amour said illegal dumping in the community forest is “an unfortunate thing” that happens every spring and that he would ask his staff for ideas on how to better deal with it.
Anyone who was in the Larose Forest on March 31 or anytime before that date, and saw pickup truck, with or without a trailer, or a car with a trailer, parked in the P6 parking lot near the starting point for one of the trails, can call the municipal bylaw departments for either The Nation or the City of Clarence-Rockland and leave a message. Anyone in the community forest who sees any signs of illegal dumping at any time is also asked to report it to the municipal bylaw departments.