Imagine my surprise when this guy drives up with a truck full of yard waste and starts to dump it right between the brand new kiosk and all the signs that say "No Dumping." The fact that I am standing there next to my parked car with a camera in my hand, seems to make no difference to him at all. So I speak up.
"Hey, you do know you are not supposed to dump stuff here, right? This is a nature preserve and dumping here is illegal."
"This stuff is biodegradable. There is nothing illegal about that."
"It doesn't matter. You are not supposed to dump anything here, biodegradable or not. People have put lots of work into making this place a relatively clean nature preserve. It is not a dump."
"If you can show me the law, some kind of ordinance that makes this illegal, I will stop. Otherwise, I know what I am doing" (He keeps unloading his truck and dragging the debris onto the bank behind the kiosk).
I put the camera to my eye and start shooting. He pays no attention.
"Are you sure you want to do this?" I ask as I keep shooting. He doesn't answer. I get him. I get the truck. I get the license plate, I get the load, I get it all. Click, click, click. He keeps working. To be very honest, this is something those of us who care about the marsh have been waiting for, somebody caught in the act of dumping and enough evidence to establish his identity. A successful and highly publicized prosecution could be just what we needed to stop some of the dumping that is constantly spoiling the marsh. Game on!!!!
Finally the truck is empty and now he begins to try to hide his face. I keep shooting. He drives away, t-shirt pulled up in front of his face.
As he drives off, another Beaver Marsh admirer drives up and we begin to talk about how great the marsh looked. Of course I tell her about my face to face encounter with a dumper.
By the way, I do realize that this might have had a very different outcome and that I was at some risk in the confrontation. I should also say that I have gone to some lengths beyond simply blurring this guy's face to disguise his identity. I did want to tell the story but I certainly didn't want to subject this young man to any unnecessary ridicule. Had he not come back, it would have been a very different situation. His real face and his deed would have been spread way beyond this little blog.