HERRIMAN, Utah — Courtney Smithson has a lot to get done before winter when it comes to taking care of her horses, Bugs and Bandit. Smithson keeps the horse pair at her mother's 2-acre property in Herriman.
Most recently, Smithson cleared out a large, open space behind the barn and small horse pen. She hauled dirt away and leveled it out, to make way for a future horse arena.
The area serves as Smithson's mother's backyard, and borders a dirt road that leads to several homes in Rose Canyon. Smithson explained that the next step was to install fence posts, so they could fence the property in.But they never got the chance to secure their chunk of land.
"Somebody came in with a dump load of, as you can see, rocks, and debris, and there's concrete, and bricks, and just dumped all along our property," she said, gesturing toward huge piles all around her.
The leveled land is now a minefield of giant mounds, filled with boulders, construction materials, and trash.
Smithson said her 85-year old grandmother was home at the time when trucks plopped the piles down in late September, but didn't realize what was happening.
"It was over the course of probably 30 minutes or so," Smithson said, relaying what her grandmother told her. "She said that there was multiple trucks, and it was probably a good six loads."
They don't know who left Smithson's mother with the lovely large loads, or why they chose that property as their personal dumping ground.
But Smithson did have a guess, based on what she found in the piles.
"There's a lot of construction being built over in Hi Country," she said.
Smithson can see the construction from her mother's home. But it's hard to know if that's where the materials originated.
"My guess, it would be a construction worker. But again, we have no idea," she said.
Smithson said they didn't file a police report, because they didn't think their report would go anywhere-- especially because the family doesn't have any security footage of the illegal dumping.
Now, instead of creating more space for Bugs and Bandit, Smithson will be focusing on getting rid of all the debris.
She said their money was budgeted for a fence, not an extensive cleanup.
"We're hopeful that we're able to get it out in time before the snow comes, but again, it's just my mother and me. And we don't have the equipment to load it up and take it where we need to go," Smithson said. "So my horses are probably going to have to stay in that pen all winter."