Contacts: Tom Whitworth, (207) 557-1086
Logging Contractor Settles Forest Practices Violations with Maine Forest Service
(August 13, 2012)
AUGUSTA, Maine –The Maine Forest Service (MFS), under the Maine Department of Conservation, has entered into an agreement with logging contractor John Korhonen of Livermore, which resolves a violation of the state’s forest practices law on land in Freeman Township, Franklin County.
Korhonen has agreed to pay a $5,000 civil penalty for the violation. The landowner, David Rasmussen, also was assessed a civil penalty of $1,000 as the fee owner of the property.
Korhonen was the previous owner of the property and retained the stumpage rights for the timber after its sale. Korhonen’s timber harvesting resulted in the clearcutting violation of the Forest Practices Act (FPA). The 50-acre clearcut violated the state’s forest-practices rules governing the size, arrangement, and management of clearcuts.
Under the settlement agreement, Korhonen agreed to pay the civil penalty, and Rasmussen was required to develop an after-the-fact forest management plan for the clearcut area.
“To make them effective as deterrents, penalties for forest-practices rule violations are intended to remove the financial benefit obtained through such violations,” Maine Forest Service Director Doug Denico noted.
Tom Whitworth, MFS regional enforcement coordinator, said that both parties worked closely with the Maine Forest Service to address the issue and took full responsibility for the violation.
“These types of violations often result from inadequate harvest planning and supervision, which can result in unintentional forest practices law violations,” Whitworth said.
Gov. Paul LePage has stated that the state’s abundant natural resources are “the backbone of our Maine heritage and the foundation upon which we must grow our economy.” The LePage Administration has taken a strong position in supporting, developing and protecting Maine’s 21st century natural-resource economy.
MFS Director Denico pointed out that the goal of the Maine Forest Service “is to improve the management of Maine’s forests.”
“Our agency focuses on educating and informing landowners to reduce the possibility of such violations,” he said. “When violations do occur, however, we have a responsibility to uphold the law. We take this and our other responsibilities very seriously.”
The FPA investigation and settlement negotiations were led by Whitworth and carried out by Maine Forest Service staff.
Established in 1891, the Maine Forest Service has as its mission to protect and enhance our 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.
Maine Forest Service offices are found throughout the state and provide Maine's citizens with a wide range of forest-related services.
For more information about the Maine Forest Service and its programs, go to: http://www.maineforestservice.gov