Sunday, July 15, 2012

Athens logger, N.H. landowner fined by MFS

  AUGUSTA – The Maine Forest Service (MFS), under the Maine Department of Conservation, has reached a settlement regarding Forest Practices Act clear cutting violations on land owned by Janey Barnard of Merrimack, N.H., according to MFS officials.
  The violations resulted from harvesting by Gerhard Grignon of Athens on a parcel of land in Palmyra.
  Harvest operations on the 128-acre parcel resulted in an unplanned, 30-acre clearcut that did not have a harvest plan prepared by a licensed forester prior to harvest as required by the state’s Forest Practices Act.
  In the settlement agreement, Grignon agreed to pay a $2,000 civil penalty. Barnard agreed to have a licensed forester prepare an after-the-fact harvest plan. Both Barnard and Grignon admitted joint responsibility for the violation.
  MFS Regional Enforcement Coordinator Jim Ecker stated that both parties told MFS that they did not intend to violate the law.
  “These types of violations often result from inadequate harvest planning by the landowner and logging contractor,” Ecker noted. “When absentee landowners do not have a plan, unintentional creation of clearcuts and Forest Practices Act violations often occur.”
  “Our goal is to improve the management of Maine’s forests,” Doug Denico, Maine Forest Service director, said. “Our agency focuses on educating and informing landowners to reduce the possibility of such violations. But, when violations do occur, we have a responsibility to uphold the law and to enforce the Forest Practices Act. We take this and our other responsibilities very seriously.”

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