June 23, 2018
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Maine Forest Service settles with Athens logger after Palmyra clear-cutting violation

By Alex Barber, BDN Staff

PALMYRA, Maine — An Athens man who violated a state wood harvesting rule while working on private land in Palmyra has reached a settlement with the Maine Forest Service.

Gerhard Grignon has agreed to pay a $2,000 civil penalty for clear-cutting 30 acres that did not have a harvest plan prepared by a licensed forester before harvest, as required by the state’s Forest Practices Act. The land was cut over the course of 2010 and 2011, said Jim Ecker, Maine Forest Service regional enforcement coordinator.

The land is owned by Janey Barnard of Merrimack, N.H., who allowed Grignon to harvest on the 128-acre parcel when the unplanned 30 acres was clear-cut.

Ecker stated that both parties told the Maine Forest Service they did not intend to violate the law.

“These types of violations often result from inadequate harvest planning by the landowner and logging contractor,” Ecker said in a prepared statement. “When absentee landowners do not have a plan, unintentional creation of clearcuts and Forest Practices Act violation often occur.”

As part of the settlement, Barnard agreed to have a licensed forester prepare an after-the-fact harvest plan. Barnard and Grignon admitted joint responsibility for the violation.

“Our goal is to improve the management of Maine’s forests,” said Maine Forest Service director Doug Denico. “Our agency focuses on educating and informing landowners to reduce the possibility of such violations. But, when violations do occur, we have a responsibility to uphold the law and to enforce the Forest Practices Act. We take this and our other responsibilities very seriously.”

Ecker said the logger assumes duties as a designated agent for the landowner and because of that, the logger was fined.

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