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You Own A Maine Woodlot...Are Considering Cutting It, What Can Go Wrong?

     maine woodland,cutting operations,forestry plan,mooers realty

You are standing looking over the 40 acre Maine woodlot you have owned for the last 24 years.

You have had calls from several woodcutters and are debating harvesting mature timber.

Each Maine land woodcutter says a higher dollar number of what he will pay for stump-age.  "Pick me pick me" is the idea. 

What can lines not surveyed and you are not sure where it starts and stops boundary wise.  Triple stumpage damages, court costs, litigation.  Cutter is suppose to determine lines before cutting and has strict rules of the process involved in harvest operations in Maine.  But what if he ignores them?

You were told selective cutting only...just remove some of the over story and what is left will grow lickety split. You think it makes sense that by not cutting this over story, everything in the maine welcome rock photoforest will not be in the dark and stunted growth wise. 

Like a garden, if you thin out the crowded raddishes, the other raddishes do better kinda of thinking.

Or removing your wisdom teeth takes away the over crowding philosphy or analogy so you say go for it. 

Mr Chainsaw starts operation and had promised only to remove a percentage of Maine woodlot trees, that he was working with a licensed forester with a report and timber cruise all in hand.

Weeks go by, you never see any proceeds, phone number gets disconnected.

You can no longer contact Paul Bunyan who you gave the green light to harvest some timber for the good of the woodlot. 

You hop on your horse, head up Interstate 95 to the property in Maine. A sinking, stinking, sick feeling overwhelms you when you get to the Maine land. The tract that used to be a healthy thick timbered, wooded property in Maine. 

Smoking stumps from World World III and Maine land that looks napalmed is all that is left.

Don't worry...those scarred, drooped over little Charlie Brown Christmas type trees will grow maine woods skidder harvester fifty three years.  You'll only be about 123 by then right? 

How do you avoid this nightmare?

Talk to the Maine forester involved first. Get references on the Maine wood cutter.

Ask for slips on loads removed that are supervised by the forester. 

Call the Maine Forest Service and ask them questions about the process and how to avoid mistakes..what to watch out for.

If the Maine woodlot is cut properly, managed correctly with an approved forestry plan with good land use practices in place, your lumbering movie can have a happy ending. And you can receive funds for the lumber removed.  All that is due you. And maybe get improved roads or a new culvert on the driveway in in the process of wood removal. Maine land, wooded or farm land is underpriced, under valued. Aroostok County is a sleeping giant in this respect when talking Maine land prices.

When to cut the Maine woodlot also a consideration. 

If the Maine lumber market is off due to home building being slowed, the price mills are paying for wood will be lower. Translation: Means smaller check to you from Mr Woodcutter.  Read a court case finding on a cutting operation in an Aroostook County Maine to get a sense of what is involved and what the law from the Maine Forestry Service is all about here.

REALTOR Andrew Mooers  Maine Real Estate Blog | 207.532.6573

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Comment balloon 8 commentsAndrew Mooers | 207.532.6573 • May 30 2008 11:52AM


Folks need to research it first and make sure they are complying wiht all the local ordinances first.  Good post!

Posted by Jim Crawford, Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR (Maximum One Executive REALTORS®) over 12 years ago

That is so sad. I would of hoped that at least the owner was on site at least twice a week until it was finished. Never leave it up to the providers to do what is right unless you really researched or trusted them.

Posted by Angelia Garcia (Pure Realtors) over 12 years ago

The owner may live eight states away.  What could be worse is the timber disappears..and no one knows where it went!

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) over 12 years ago

Great post,

Being a tree lover and or a lover of all living things. I know some wooded acreage needs to be cleaned up, but you have to have a professional there at all times. And the property should be staked out before any cutting goes on. This is a very sad story

Robert Swetz:

Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz over 12 years ago

Andrew, We also have to submit a estimated timber tax to our town and state revenue department which the cutter must give accurate figures for, the State sends out an agent from the revenue dept to check on cutting, silt barriers, and number of cords cut, compared to the estimate submitted. The cutter and the land owner can be fined if it appears there was an attempt at hiding the true counts.

Steve (New Hampshire)

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) over 12 years ago

Tree growth a whole another blog topic too...Thanks Steve for pointing that out!

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) over 12 years ago

This could be a budding problem - two semi-trucks full of freshly cut tree trunks were apprehended here

by the police recently. The Paul Bunyans in this instance, clear cut someone's property without their

permission - wood rustlers in them thar woods!  Landowner figures wood worth $200K -yikes!!

Posted by Bonnie & Terry Westbrook, Grand Rapids MI Real Estate (Westbrook Realty) over 12 years ago

Wood poachers were call the varmits (loaded rifle sound of bullet sliding into click) With owners so far away, and low population, it can happen...but not for long...too long a process and passer bys plus other woodcutters are eagle eyed and report activity that smells fishy!

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) over 12 years ago

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