PALMYRA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- After surveying a parcel of land in Palmyra, Forest Rangers with the Maine Forest Service found a landowner and logger committed a forest violation and harvested more trees than the law permits.
New Hampshire landowner Janey Barnard and logger Gerhard Grignon, of Athens, Maine, created an "unplanned, clearcut" over 31 acres of land, according to Forest Ranger Jim Ecker.
The landowner and logger paid a total of $2 thousand in fines for the Forest Practices Act violation.
Clearcutting is a logging practice in which a certain number of trees are harvested. In many cases, loggers who commit clearcut violations harvest all, or almost all of the trees.
The practice can lead to overharvesting, which can cause economic impacts to the timber product industry, ecological impacts to the area wildlife, as well as damage to the recreational and aesthetic value of the land.
Maine law permits varying degrees of clearcutting depending on the size of the land and density of the trees.
According to Ecker, landowners need to abide by the clearcutting standards and prepare an "after-the-fact harvest plan" before the time of the harvest.
He said in this case, neither happened.
Additionally, the skidder trails were both too wide and too closer together.
"Basically anytime you cut to the bare minimum of the law there are going to be potential problems," said Ecker. "Your risk is tremendously higher."
Ecker recommended contacting the Maine Forest Service to check compliance with the Forest Practices Act before moving ahead with a harvest.
According to his estimations, the Forest Service deals with about five Forest Practices Act violations every year.
For more information, visit the Maine Forest Service website.