AUGUSTA — The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Maine Forest Service (MFS) has entered into an administrative settlement agreement with South Street Village, LLC (SSV). The settlement resolves violations of Maine’s Forest Practices Act on property owned by SSV and located in Biddeford. SSV agreed to pay a $30,000 civil penalty for the violation, of which $24,000 is being directed to the Community Forest Fund as a Supplemental Environmental Project that will be used to support urban and community forestry programs in York County. SSV also agreed that they would not sell, offer for sale, or otherwise convey any portion of the property until August 2022.
The MFS determined that timber harvesting activities in 2018 and 2019 created a clearcut greater than 75 acres in size without first preparing the required site-specific harvest plan for clearcuts of this size. The landowner failed to submit a written harvest plan to the MFS for approval prior to the creation of the clearcut, and the MFS determined that the clearcut lacked the required separation zone for clearcuts greater than 75 acres in size.
Timber harvesting violations often result from inadequate planning or failure to review forestry rules prior to a harvest. When landowners fail to check regulations that apply to the area being harvested, they can inadvertently create violations.
“Our goal is to improve the management of Maine’s forests,” said Patty Cormier, MFS Director. “We focus on educating and informing landowners to reduce the possibility of such violations. When violations do occur, however, we have a responsibility to uphold the law. We take this and our other responsibilities very seriously.”
“The landowner was cooperative and took full responsibility for the violation,” commented Adam Cates, MFS Regional Enforcement Coordinator. “Although the landowner did not intend to create a clearcut, this situation emphasizes the importance of understanding MFS rules and regulations prior to timber harvesting.”
Regional Enforcement Coordinator Adam Cates conducted the investigation and settlement negotiations with the assistance of MFS staff.
Since 1891, the MFS mission is to protect and enhance forest resources through fire prevention, technical assistance, education, and outreach to a wide variety of audiences and enforcement of forest protection laws. MFS offices are found throughout Maine and provide its citizens with a wide range of forest-related services. For more information about the MFS and its programs, visit the MFS website at maineforestservice.gov.
–Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
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