Landowner Resolves Water Quality Violations with Maine Forest Service

May 5, 2022

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AUGUSTA - The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry's Maine Forest Service (MFS) has entered into an administrative settlement agreement with Gabriel Rioux and G.R. Timber Holdings LLC, based in Van Buren, Maine. The settlement resolves violations of Maine's rules governing timber harvesting activities in shoreland areas. Rioux and GRTH agreed to pay a $5,379 civil penalty for the violation. Rioux also agreed to other conditions to reduce the risk of future violations.

In 2019, on land owned by GRTH, Rioux partially installed a road crossing across a stream and nonforested wetland, within 250 feet of a lake, without a permit from the Maine Forest Service. Rioux agreed to remove the crossing structure and fill material in the wetland as part of the conditions of the agreement.

"Our goal is to improve the management of Maine's forests and protect Maine's waters," said Patty Cormier, MFS Director. "While our dedicated staff focuses on educating and informing landowners to reduce the possibility of such violations, we have a responsibility to uphold the law. We take such matters very seriously."
"Mr. Rioux was cooperative throughout this investigation," commented Morten Moesswilde, MFS Field Team Leader. "In this instance, prior communications with MFS staff could have avoided this unfortunate situation."

Moesswilde conducted the investigation and settlement negotiations with the assistance of MFS staff.

About MFS

Since 1891, the MFS mission has been to protect and enhance forest resources through fire prevention, technical assistance, education, 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