L.D. 2594: An Act Regarding Forest Practices
We believe that Jonathan Carter’s latest forestry referendum proposal is extreme, and would have a negative impact on forestry in Maine.
The proposal says that those in the Tree Growth Tax Program may not harvest any more per year than the average annual growth of the forest in the last 10 years, but does not take into account the current or future state of the forest; requires a permit for every clearcut, with standards that are impossible to meet; and calls for the removal of rulemaking authority from the Maine Forest Service, giving it instead to a new state agency board of selected representatives, none of whom are landowners.
The impacts this proposal would have include reducing harvest levels of land in Tree Growth from 50-70%; requiring landowners to harvest their land every year to capture any of the value of the timber; owners needing to leave the Tree Growth Program to harvest their land then not being able to afford the taxes, opening potential for the land to be sold and developed; a ban on clearcutting due to impossible standards; and landowners needing to high-grade, reducing the productivity of their land. In fact owners of parcels of less then several hundred acres will not be able to attract timber buyers for the small volumes that can be harvested annually.
This kind of referendum is extreme, political, and ignores the science of forestry. It is not what this state needs.