Leahy Quoted in Morning Sentinel Article on Open Land Access Trash Concerns

Jessica Leahy, an associate professor of human dimensions of natural resources in the University of Maine School of Forest Resources, spoke with the Morning Sentinel for an article about some Maine landowners restricting recreational access because of trash left by visitors. The article cited Leahy’s 2008 study that found the biggest reason Maine landowners cut off public use is littering and illegal dumping. About 30 percent of private landowners were “actively considering” placing restrictions or prohibiting access to their property, primarily because of problems with littering and illegal dumping, according to the study. “You could have all the positive use you could imagine — grandfathers taking their grandkids fishing — but it really only takes one bad incident for the landowner to close off access to the land,” Leahy said. She added much of the garbage is left from local people who are not using their transfer station, and not from recreational users.