The Maine Forest Service, under the Maine Department of Conservation, in cooperation with the Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine, is helping to organize a statewide “Landowner Appreciation Clean-up Day,” scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 15.

This effort is a continuation of events held last year, during which volunteers — from civic groups, to snowmobile and ATV clubs and other outdoor enthusiasts — banded together to clean up sites that have been victimized by illegal dumping.

Bill Williams, MFS chief forest ranger, has offered the assistance of the MFS Incident Management Team to coordinate of this year’s clean up. The IMT specializes in managing complex emergency responses, as well as large, planned events.

The team will work with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and SWOAM to identify those sites that need clean-up, then work with the affected landowners and reach out to volunteer coordinators across Maine to plan for the effort.

“Littering hurts everyone,” Williams said, in a press release, “and our effort will be to coordinate volunteers who are willing to give their time to enhance Maine’s environment.”

The problem of illegal dumping continues to be a leading reason that lands are closed to traditional public recreation uses, including hunting, fishing and hiking, he noted.

Last year, volunteers collected more than 59,000 pounds of trash and nearly 1,500 tires that had been dumped in Maine’s woods.

In preparation for the clean-up day, the Maine Forest Service is soliciting the help of volunteers and information from the public and landowners about potential clean-up locations. To participate or to report illegal dumping sites, call the Maine Forest Service at 1-800-750-9777.