BARNARD PLANTATION, Maine — Millionaire philanthropist and landowner Roxanne Quimby has apparently gated more logging roads on Piscataquis County land she owns near Northwest Ridge Road in Barnard Plantation, a county official said Wednesday.
Brad Smith, a resident of Sangerville who owns a camp in the area, said Quimby’s workers have blocked access to what he called Dexter Mills Road, Quarry Bark Road and Bear Brook Deadwater except in the case of roads that go to private camps.
The roadblocks are all on private property that Quimby owns, Piscataquis County Manager Marilyn K. Tourtelotte said Wednesday. None are on discontinued county roads.
“The gate was placed beyond the end of the county road and is on private property,” Tourtelotte said in an email.
Quimby ran afoul of the commissioners last year when she gated Wilson Stream Pond Road in Elliotsville Plantation.
After searching through archived records in Dover-Foxcroft and Augusta, the commissioners ruled on Feb. 7 that the gate was not legal because the road is, in part, still a county road.
A clerical mistake made in 1970 caused the confusion. According to state law, a road not maintained for 30 years is considered abandoned. Tourtelotte and attorney Erik Stumpfel discovered that the county added gravel to some potholes on the road in 1988 and that the last substantial work to the road occurred in 1984.
Quimby’s workers removed the gate on Jan. 17, once they learned that the road had not been abandoned in 1930, “as was previously represented to us,” Quimby said in an email at the time.
Elliotsville Plantation residents Clowes Brown, Roy McSorley and Jim Buchanan had asked the commissioners to declare the road a legal right of way in order to remove the gate.
Smith said workers for Quimby’s land management company placed the gates and boulders blocking the Barnard Plantation logging roads apparently within the last few weeks. He said he was unaware of any public access being illegally blocked, though the land had been used for informal ATV and snowmobile trails until Quimby purchased it more than a year ago.
Smith said he believes that the land newly gated would be given to the state for multiuse trails and motorized recreational under Quimby’s apparently dormant plan to create a national park near Baxter State Park.
Quimby’s press representative declined to comment immediately upon the matter when reached Wednesday.
Bangor Daily News writer Alex Barber contributed to this report.
Follow BDN writer Nick Sambides Jr. on Twitter at @NickSam2BDN.