Landowner Resolves Water Quality Violations with Maine Forest Service
July 15, 2020
Contact: Adam Cates, (207) 441-4139
AUGUSTA - The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry's Maine Forest Service (MFS) has entered into an administrative settlement agreement with Wagner Forest Management, Ltd. (Wagner). Based in Lyme, NH, Wagner agreed to pay a $6,000 civil penalty and institute staff training to reduce the risk of future violations. The settlement resolves Wagner's violation of Maine's rules governing timber harvesting activities on property owned by Bayroot, LLC, in Parkertown Twp. (T5 R3 WBKP), in Oxford County, ME.
During a 2019 timber harvest, Wagner failed to adequately stabilize exposed soil on skid trails, harvest landings, and land management road ditches. Also, Wagner failed to utilize water control structures and provide required vegetated filter strips between exposed soil and protected water resources. As a result of a heavy rain event in October 2019, a significant amount of sediment was deposited into several small streams and Lincoln Pond Brook, a major tributary to Aziscohos Lake. Wagner stabilized exposed soil in road ditches and installed water control structures at the direction of MFS.
"Our goal is to improve the management of Maine's forests," said Patty Cormier, MFS Director. "We focus 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."
"Wagner was cooperative and took full responsibility for the violation," said Adam Cates, MFS Regional Enforcement Coordinator. "These violations resulted from inadequate harvest planning and a failure to review the forestry rules before the operations began."
MFS strongly recommends checking with the town or municipality about any local ordinances and being familiar with all rules that apply before beginning harvest operations. MFS rules and regulations for timber harvesting and related activities are found on maineforestservice.gov.
Regional Enforcement Coordinator Adam Cates conducted the investigation and settlement negotiations with the assistance of MFS staff. Cates is available for comment at (207) 441-4139.
Since 1891, the MFS mission is to protect and enhance forest resources through fire prevention, technical assistance, education, and 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 maineforestservice.gov.