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Illegal tire dumpsites in Cherokee National Forest

GREENEVILLE – USDA Forest Service officials say recent illegal dumping in the Cherokee National Forest is a concern and is under investigation.  Two areas of the Unaka Ranger District in Washington County have been used to illegally dispose of approximately 300-500 tires each.
The dumpsites are approximately a quarter to one half acre in size located on National Forest System Road (NFSR) #5352 – Horse Cove Gap and NFSR #4355A – Ramsey Creek Road south of Johnson City.  Dumping on national forest land is a Class B Misdemeanor and punishable by a fine not more than $5,000 for an individual and $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than 6 months.
 Unaka District Ranger Leslie Morgan said, “It is a shame that tires and other household trash are being carelessly discarded in the forest. Tire dump sites can cause many problematic areas.  Besides being unsightly and non-biodegradable, disease-carrying rodents and insects are attracted to these sites. They also pose an increased risk for forest fires. This is very serious and we want to stop these kinds of activities.  We all own our national forests.  As an owner, you have a stake in what happens in the forest.”
 If you have information about these dumpsites or see someone dumping tires or other debris in the Cherokee National Forest please notify the Unaka Ranger District at 423-638-4109.