ALLEGAN, Mich. (WOOD) — The Department of Natural Resources is trying to track down who is responsible for dumping hundreds of tires in the Allegan State Gaming Area.
The DNR on Tuesday said more than 800 tires were dumped in the area. Crews began picking up the tires and will dispose of them properly as they continue to investigate.
Snowmobiler Joel said he discovered the tires last week on a ride and contacted the DNR.
“They put them right across the trail and you know people snowmobile at night and tires are black, and so that could have been bad,” Joel said. “I come from the day from when we thought the ecology was on the way up, you know not on the way down, and so yeah it’s just another indication that you can’t go anywhere and not see the world getting trashed.”
DNR officers say many of the tires were found off Trail 59, but more were recently discovered.
“The officer responded to the location and not only found the bunch of tires that the complainant had reported to us, but we also in patrolling the game area found a few other locations where tires were dumped,” said Lt. Gerald Thayer with the DNR Law Enforcement Division.
“This is a large-scale operation, obviously a tire shop or maybe a junk yard of some sort, so that’s where we’re kind of poking our nose and seeing what we can find.”
Josh Wolford brought his dogs to go hiking and was disappointed to hear of the dumping.
“That’s just straight up dumping. They know that what they were doing was wrong and that’s why they did it probably in the middle of the night or something like that and that’s why it’s a mystery,” Wolford said.
Conservation officers say they have some promising lead, but no arrests have been made.
The offense is more serious given the sheer number of tires.
“We go after the facts and the leads in the case and our goal is to bring somebody to justice in this case,” Thayer said. “It’s so extensive, we would probably bump it up to a misdemeanor, which is unlawful disposal of solid waste, and given the amount of tires that are out there, we would certainly let the judge make the call on the level of fines and costs.”
If you have information about where these tires came from, you can call the DNR’s 24-hour Report All Poaching Hotline at 1.800.292.7800.