Contacts: George Harris, (207) 712-8941
Maine Forest Service: Local Cases Heard in Maine District Court in Houlton
(May 10, 2012)
AUGUSTA, Maine – A Oakfield logger has been ordered to pay more than $5,000 in restitution for failing to pay a landowner for harvested trees.
Jason Siltz, 38, was ordered to pay a total of $5,058.37 to a Massachusetts resident for trees harvested between June 2010 and February 2011 on a 90-acre lot in Linneus.
The case was one of several heard by District Judge Bernard O’Mara on Tuesday in Maine District Court in Houlton. The cases were investigated by the Maine Forest Service Forest Rangers and brought to court by Ranger Investigator George Harris and Ranger Chris Beyer of the Houlton office.
According to Harris, some 475 cords of wood was harvested, but the defendant paid the landowner only $3,422.05 out of $8,480.42 brought in. The timber harvest was overseen by a licensed forester, and several attempts were made by the landowner and the forester to work out a payment plan. The logger was making payments, but then stopped.
The Maine Forest Service received the complaint in July 2011, and following an investigation, the matter proceeded to court. As a result, the outstanding amount of $5,058.37 will be collected through the court and paid to the landowner.
In a second case, Dwight Osgood, 64, of Macwahoc Plantation, the local deputy town fire warden, was fined $100 and ordered to pay restitution amounting to $1,050 for damage done to a neighbor’s house for an uncontrolled fire.
Osgood wrote himself a fire permit on March 21 to burn grass. The fire escaped, however, and damaged to a vacant home owned by a Florida resident. The Kingman Fire Department responded to the fire, as did the Maine Forest Service, with a total crew of eight and two engines. The fire burned cedar shingles on side of the house.
Osgood reportedly burned his hands in an attempt to extinguish the fire and refused care, receiving medical care at a later date. The State Fire Marshal’s Office was notified.
In two other cases, Thomas Small, 29, Smyrna, was fined $100 for burning without a permit in an organized town. Small was burning brush and pallets on April 1 when the fire escaped into tall grass. Harris, aided by Small, had to suppress the fire, using a newly installed 100-gallon tank on a MFS ranger truck.
Jay Holck, 50, of Hodgdon, was fined $100 for criteria for allowable burning after the Maine Forest Service received a complaint about burning plastic on April 15.
On inspection, Harris found cloth, cans, glass, and household garbage being burned in an outdoor grill at Holck’s residence. Holck extinguished the fire at Harris’ request.
In a case handled by MFS Ranger Chris Beyer, a Merrill man was summoned and fined for burning prohibited materials.
Towbi Martinez, 31, pleaded guilty and was fined $100. Beyer received a complaint in April from a neighbor that prohibited materials were being burned. On investigation, Beyer found that Martinez had a burn permit, but was burning a mattress, trash and household items.
To reach the Maine Forest Service, call:
For more information about the Maine Forest Service, go to: http://maineforestservice.gov
For more information about the Maine Forest Rangers, go to: http://www.maine.gov/doc/mfs/ffchome.htm