AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine Forest Rangers urge motor vehicle operators to exercise caution and common sense when traveling on any unpaved areas whether it is on dirt roads, fields, public areas or other open spaces during “mud season.”
Maine’s Forest Rangers are a part of the Forest Protection Program within the DACF Division of Forestry. The Rangers also warned that causing mudding damage could be a Class E crime, and they are on the alert to stop damage and catch violators. Widespread public education is the preferred method of Maine Forest Rangers to minimize that damage and protect property owners.
Every spring across Maine, forest and agricultural owners have their roads damaged by motor vehicles. The operators of these motor vehicles, usually in four-wheel-drive pickups, look for roads that are muddy and wet in order to slip, slide and spin in mud. As these landowners know, these activities are very costly to repair, can be highly unsightly and can cause lost productivity.
Maine’s Forest Rangers investigate numerous complaints of damage to forest lands, crop lands, ATV trails and roads each year and have worked successfully with District Attorneys across the state in numerous prosecutions.
As stated in Maine law, a person who, as a result of operating a motor vehicle on farmland or forest land, damages or destroys crops, forest products, personal property or roads on that farmland or forest land, commits a Class E crime. Further, a “motor vehicle” means any self-propelled vehicle not operated exclusively on tracks, including all-terrain vehicles as defined in Title 12, section 13001, but not including snowmobiles.
For more information about the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and the Maine Forest Service, go to: <http://www.maine.gov/acf>
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