ME: Smaller Operations Dislike Logging Law

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ME: Smaller Operations Dislike Logging Law

EJ asks:" Does this law go beyond timber and into subdivided land?"Yes indeed. Before offering land for sale after January 1, 2005 you better consider if any wood from the property has been sold in the previous 5 years. If so, you might want to delay the sale until the 5 years are up or the state gets the profits. Oh, you can cut a little firewood on your own land, but you better not sell any if you intend to sell the land within 5 years. Remember those infamous trip tickets? These are written documentation as to where wood came from. This new law makes use of trip tickets. If you sell some firewood to your neighbor you might be able to get away with it, but it's still against the law. Remember the new rule against new driveways on state roads? Some activists in the town of Falmouth wanted a local ordinance aginst circular driveways. They could not get the law passed in town so they got their state Rep to put in a bill. It was the "Curb Cut Law" and designed for big dollar towns with granite curbs and sidewalks, but the law applies to everybody. It passed with the help of the Maine State Planning office under Evan Richter and Angus was delighted to sign it. During hearings I testified against it and somebody from Great Northern did also. They pointed out that they owned 16 miles of frontage on Route 11. Were they to be limited to one driveway in 16 miles? That's how the original bill read. Big landowners were exempted, but Farmer Jones can't have one driveway in one field and a different driveway to enter the field on the other side of the stream. Farmer Jones has to deal with the DEP to build his own a bridge across the stream. He can't use the bridge his tax dollars helped build.It's called "rural cleansing" folks, and it has been making steady progress since 1971 when Maines land use law was passed. I hope everybody knows that citizens in 52% of Maine can't even vote to elect the functionaries who govern them. Oh, they can vote for President, like citizens of Guam, but they can't have a local planning board or selectmen where they can talk with their peers about a building permit. Iraqi citizens have more rights today than the citizens of Maine's Unorganized Territories.

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ME: Smaller Operations Dislike Logging Law

ME: Smaller Operations Dislike Logging Law“This is another blow to smaller loggers. The state has put an awful lot of people out of business.”Full story:
[url=http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/news/state/041129logging.shtml]http://...

EJ
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Joined: 03/14/2003 - 1:01am
Re: ME: Smaller Operations Dislike Logging Law

This is aweful.As I read it, makes it hard to put your newly purchased land to use, by harvesting the renewable resource on it.AGR
EJS

Roger Ek
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Joined: 11/18/2002 - 1:01am
Re: ME: Smaller Operations Dislike Logging Law

This is not only an antiforestry law, it's a tax on the dead! I testified against this in Augusta when it was still in hearings under Rep. George Bunker. He has been attacking loggers for years.This new law says if Grandson inherits a wood lot from Grandpa, he can't harvest the wood to pay his tuition at Orono. He has to wait 5 years after the will is probated or the state gets the proceeds. Forestry as we know it today is over on January 1, 2005. Rep. George Bunker is all done in a few days. I hope his Republican replacement, Rep. Elect Everett McLeod introduces legislation to overturn this hateful law. It is definitely an attack on Maine's small woodlot owners.

EJ
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Joined: 03/14/2003 - 1:01am
Re: ME: Smaller Operations Dislike Logging Law

Roger,That is and end of Private property.Damn, why are not more people rising up and screaming? Does this law go beyong timber and into subdivided land?Aweful law, time to run the Dem's and Natural Resource types out of Augusta, this is aweful.EJ

Anonymous
Re: ME: Smaller Operations Dislike Logging Law

What do you expect when government represents whomever has the wherewithall to lobby the halls of the statehouse ad infinitum?Until people realize that government power to regulate is the problem, people will be regulated out of business and out of freedom.Got power abuse? End the power to abuse.
Protect my rights, legislators, damn it.

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Re: ME: Smaller Operations Dislike Logging Law

MaineToday.com
Sunday, November 28, 2004
Limits on Logging By LARRY GRARD
Staff WriterCopyright © 2004 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.  
MADISON -- Like the dairy farmer who must keep buying cows to remain viable, people in the logging business must either buy more land or find new places to harvest wood.Thomas Dillon of Anson learned that 33 years ago when he started cutting wood, at the age of 25. Dillon purchased his first wood lot in 1979 and he's been doing it ever since -- in recent years on a weekly basis.`Today, T.R. Dillon Logging Inc. employs 20 loggers, drivers, foresters and office workers. The company deals with 100 contractors, and does 80 percent of its business from its own land. That includes a 45,000-acre tract in northern New Hampshire, near Berlin.T.R. Dillon takes in $400,000 to $500,000 a week in gross revenue."It's been good to us," Dillon said recently, his son Scott by his side. "From a guy working in a shoe shop to a guy driving a Mercedes Benz and owning a condominium in Florida."But the need for new land does not go away, and that's what has Dillon concerned about a new law that takes effect in January. Ushered through the Maine Legislature by the Department of Conservation, the rule to "substantially eliminate liquidation harvesting" will put strict limits on land transactions.Liquidation harvesting is defined by the legislature as the purchase of timberland followed by a harvest that removes most or all commercial value in standing timber, without regard to long-term forest-management principals, and the subsequent sale or attempted resale of the harvested land within five years.If such a law had been in effect when Dillon started his business, he said, the company never would have grown. The "big guy" will get bigger and the smaller guy will be out of business, Dillon said."The smaller guys can't afford to hold land for five years," he said. "This is another blow to smaller loggers. The state has put an awful lot of people out of business."Dillon said it is precisely this type of government intervention that separates Maine from New Hampshire, two states with some of the largest percentage of forested land in the nation."I'm a timber liquidator in Maine," Dillon said. "I'm Mr. Dillon in New Hampshire."Deft land purchases have been Dillon's forte. That's why, while some logging companies sink big money into expensive equipment such as skidders, Dillon prefers cash on hand."I learned years and years ago the most valuable tool you can have is money," he said. "It takes a lot of money to buy all that equipment, so I sold off that equipment to buy land. When the deal is hot you've got the ability to swing the deal."Dillon does cut off other people's land."People will hire me to cut off their land, and I do the supervision on my land," he said. "I also broker a lot of wood through individual loggers."More than 90 percent of Maine's land is forested, and New Hampshire is second with more than 85 per cent. Vermont is third.The Natural Resources Council of Maine pushed hard for the liquidation harvesting law. Diano Circo, north woods outreach coordinator and policy advocate for the NRC, said the state is losing a "huge percentage" of its forest base due to liquid harvesting."The definition of sustainability is to keep using (the land) over and over," Circo said. "You must leave a certain amount of timber. There's nothing wrong with development. But we're trying to control where the development happens."The NRC wants big blocks of forested land that is contiguous. "You don't want small bits of unforested land. You don't want haphazard development."Circo said there is leeway built into the law to eliminate liquidation harvesting."To develop, the landowner must just get permission for the local planning board," he said. "There's a lot of flexibility in the rule."Landowners and paper mills have been operating according to various degrees of certification.Sappi Fine Paper North America was independently certified under the Sustainable Forest Initiative. Developed in 1995 by the American Forest & Paper Association, SFI consists of management practices that ensure the health and growth of state forests for future generations.The more stringent Forest Stewardship Council, administered by an independent third-party system, prohibits harvesting of old-growth timber.Loggers must adhere to whatever guideline used by their buyers. And in the case of Dillon and many other state logging companies, much of their wood goes to paper mills."We do follow the SFI principal," Scott Dillon said. "That's why we can sell our wood to the mills."Given such certification standards, Thomas Dillon questions the need for the liquidation harvesting law."I think they've been trying now for 20 years to fix a wheel that hasn't been broken," Dillon said. "It's to protect against poor forest management. But yet you can buy it, cut it and hold it five years without any penalty. That takes someone a lot smarter than me to figure out."A Maine Forest Service spokesman, biologist Kenneth Lausten said, Maine is in a "good biological spot" for tree growth. It is at the southern tip of the Canadian forest and the northern extension of the central hardwoods.The percentage of forested land stood at 95 per cent in the 1600s. It was down to 75 per cent by the late 1800s, when farmers cleared land across the state. But by 1960, when much of the farmland had grown back to forest, the percentage had grown to its current level.Linkletter & Sons, Inc., of Athens operates according to a different philosophy than Dillon. Robert Linkletter, one of the three family owners, says that the liquidation harvesting law will not have much effect on the company.The Linkletters keep most of their land acquisitions, and hold them for the next generations of sons and daughters who will run the company."We're trying to keep the land, and let the trees grow back," Linkletter said. "The little logger will get hurt. But most of us buy big pieces of land and it's going to take us five years to cut it off anyway."Robert, Bruce and Richard Linkletter have owned the logging outfit since 1970. They started by operating saw mills, and eventually bought skidders to get their wood to the mills. Linkletter later purchased chippers to supply an Athens wood-fired energy plant that is no longer in business.Linkletter also sinks more money into equipment than does Dillon. Robert Linkletter said the company has $5 million invested in eight skidders, 15 tractor-trailer trucks and four tree bunchers."We're master loggers," Linkletter said. "We have our own set of rules to go by, so we wouldn't cut it wrong to begin with."But like Dillon and all other big logging companies, Linkletter must continually acquire more land. The company owns 43,000 acres, all in Maine, and does 80 percent of its operations on that land. The Linkletters try to acquire 5,000 acres a year, in lots from 12,000 acres down to 50.Leased lots and access to bear-hunting rights help them pay the taxes on their land, Linkletter said.Ambrose "Tom" McCarthy of Skowhegan, a buyer and seller of land, said the new law will effect not only his business, but people looking to build a home on a rural lot."It hurts bad," McCarthy said. "I would say it's going to take away one-third of the property that we would be able to buy. Those who are sitting comfortably in their nice homes in Freeport and Falmouth are loving it."McCarthy cuts wood on some of his land, which he then develops and sells. He can sell those lots for a much better price if he can first cut some wood on them.Recently, McCarthy purchased 65 acres of land in New Sharon for $95,000. The only way to make money on the transaction is to cut the wood and split the land into lots, he said.McCarthy also is concerned that the liquidation harvesting law will prohibit him from subdividing newly-harvested land."This will have a real negative effect on a young couple trying to buy a piece of property in rural Maine," he said.The new law actually could create an increase in the price of wood products because less land will be on the market, and thus less wood will be available to the mills, McCarthy said.Larry Grard-- 474-9534 Ext. 343 lgrard@centralmaine.com
[url=http://business.mainetoday.com/news/041128_1166055.shtml]http://business...

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