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Maine Forest Service: Oakland Logger Pleads Guilty to Forest Violations
August 30, 2012
For more information, contact: Matt Gomes at (207) 624-3700
AUGUSTA, Maine – An Oakland logger has pleaded guilty to unlawful cutting of trees and operating a motor vehicle on the land of another during a logging operation in Newport, according to Maine Forest Service (MFS) officials.
Logger Charles Stratton, 48, pleaded guilty on Wednesday, Aug. 15, in Maine District Court in Newport, according to Matt Gomes, MFS regional forest ranger, with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.
The logger agreed to pay restitution of $2,376.39 to the landowner, Christiana Olmstead, whose property he violated, Gomes said. Olmstead lives out of state. A $400 portion of the restitution was for a survey to verify the property line, as required by state law, and a sum of $1,976.39 was restitution for the value of the wood taken from the victim’s land, Gomes said.
In addition, Stratton paid $200 in court fines for the two violations, the MFS regional ranger said. MFS rangers noted that the logger was cooperative throughout the entire process.
Stratton had been given a survey map of the property for which he was contracted to harvest in March. He failed however, to mark all the boundary lines as required by law and cut approximately 2 acres of wood from an adjacent landowner’s property.
The landowner contacted MFS Ranger Aaron Bailey of Benton in June after her realtor mentioned that someone had cut her property, Gomes said. Bailey investigated the case.
Maine law states that all property lines must be flagged prior to commencing a timber harvest if the harvest is going to take place within 200 feet of the property line, Gomes noted.
For more information about the Maine Forest Service, go to: http://www.maine.gov/doc/mfs/index.shtml
To report forest violations, go to: http://www.maine.gov/doc/mfs/services/rpt_concern.html
For more information about the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, go to: http://www.maine.gov/acf