MFS: Strong man settles forest practices violations
AUGUSTA - The Maine Forest Service (MFS), under the Maine Department of Conservation, has entered into an agreement with Tracy Gordon of Strong which resolves a violation of the state’s forest practices law on land he owned in Jay.
Improper harvest operations on Gordon’s property resulted in a clearcut that did not have a harvest plan prepared by a licensed forester prior to the harvest or adequate separation zone, as required by the state’s forest-practices rules governing the size, arrangement, and management of clearcuts.
Under the settlement agreement, Gordon agreed to pay an $8,933 civil penalty and is required to work under the supervision of a licensed forester on future harvests.
The investigation and settlement negotiations were led by Regional Enforcement Coordinator Jim Ecker and carried out by Maine Forest Service foresters and forest rangers. He said that Gordon told MFS that he did not intend to create a clearcut.
“Gordon was very cooperative and took full responsibility for the violation,” Ecker said.
“These types of violations often result from inadequate harvest planning and supervision,” Ecker continued. “When landowners harvest to the minimum requirements of the Forest Practices Act but fail to leave adequate residual trees combined with wide, closely spaced harvesting trails, it can result in the unintentional creation of clearcuts and forest practices law violations.”
“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. When violations do occur, however, we have a responsibility to uphold the law. We take this and our other responsibilities very seriously.”
Established in 1891, the Maine Forest Service has as its mission to protect and enhance Maine’s state's forest resources through forest fire prevention; technical assistance; education and outreach to a wide variety of audiences; and enforcement of the state’s forest protection laws.