MONMOUTH — Upon his return home from volunteering with the Monmouth Lions Club on Saturday, Guy Piper thought something looked amiss on his property. While he was gone, someone had dumped 11 large stumps just beyond the woods line and left Piper with the mess.

Piper’s land is across from Monmouth Academy and is clearly posted “No Trespassing.” He thinks the culprit must have used a trailer to roll into the clearing and dump his load — rope, tarp and all.

On Sunday evening, Piper talked to friends and neighbors to see if anyone had seen anything suspicious, he said. He checked with the local transfer station to see whether anyone with a load of stumps had recently been turned away.

Local police and the Maine Forest Service are investigating.

‘We have checked with the neighbors and are also following up on a couple other things, but nothing as of yet,” Monmouth police Chief Kevin Mulherin said. “We’ve also advised Mr. Piper to put something across the road to block easy access.”

Matt Gomes, a regional ranger with the Maine Forest Service, said illegal dumping incidents have risen over the years.

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“We deal with it on a daily basis,” Gomes said. “If somebody dumps a bunch of stumps, there really isn’t much to go on.”

In an Associated Press article, Gomes said the number of illegal dumping complaints grew from 250 five years ago to about 325 in 2013. The article cited everything from Styrofoam cups to car parts and appliances.

Gomes encouraged people to keep their eyes open for things that “don’t make sense.” He said loaded trucks and trailers are all going somewhere, and the dumping of many items, including stumps, is regulated. He encouraged people to take down license plate numbers and to notify the Maine Forest Service of anything suspicious.

Piper said he was encouraged by the response he had received and he commended the efforts of the local police and rangers in his case.

If the person who dumped the stumps is not found, Piper said, he will be stuck with the cost of legally removing the stumps himself. Leaving them there, he said, would present a hazard to anyone crossing the field, especially in the tall grass.

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