Maine Revised Statutes

§8423-C. Presalvage and salvage harvesting

1. Regulation.   The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry shall regulate the presalvage and salvage harvesting of forest stands in areas that, based on the proportion of balsam fir, white spruce, red spruce, black spruce, other softwood and hardwood components present, have significant risk of damage from spruce budworm and are subject to a credible threat of imminent spruce budworm damage.
A. The assessments of risk and vulnerability of a specific forest stand must be supported by adequate data, including but not limited to:
(1) Forest stand type information; and
(2) A documented history of recent elevated spruce budworm moth presence or foliage damage from spruce budworm feeding. [2015, c. 314, §12 (NEW).]
B. The director shall designate areas for presalvage and salvage harvesting subject to rules adopted pursuant to subsection 5 no later than January 1st of each year. Areas designated for presalvage and salvage harvesting must be inspected and verified by a licensed forester in the employ of the bureau. The director shall seek public comment for a 30-day period prior to designating such areas. [2015, c. 314, §12 (NEW).]
C. A forest stand that is identified for presalvage and salvage harvesting must be located within the areas designated pursuant to paragraph B. [2015, c. 314, §12 (NEW).]
[ 2015, c. 314, §12 (NEW) .]
2. Notification.   Prior to beginning timber harvesting pursuant to this subchapter, a landowner or designated agent shall notify the bureau in accordance with the notification requirements set forth in chapter 805, subchapter 5.
[ 2015, c. 314, §12 (NEW) .]
3. Reporting.   Timber harvests conducted pursuant to this subchapter are subject to the same reporting requirements set forth in chapter 805, subchapter 5, except that the director may require additional information to be reported to satisfy the requirements of this subchapter.
[ 2015, c. 314, §12 (NEW) .]
4. Confidentiality.   Reports filed in accordance with subsection 3 are confidential. The director may publish summary reports that use aggregated data that do not reveal the activities of an individual person or firm. Reports submitted pursuant to subsection 3 must be available for the use of the State Tax Assessor for the administration of Title 36.
[ 2015, c. 314, §12 (NEW) .]
5. Rules.   The commissioner shall adopt rules to implement this subchapter, including rules establishing spruce budworm timber harvesting standards. Rules adopted pursuant to this subsection are major substantive rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.
A. The rules must:
(1) Exclude presalvage and salvage harvesting in protection subdistricts within the jurisdiction of the Maine Land Use Planning Commission and in areas subject to timber harvesting regulation under section 8867-B;
(2) Identify the areas subject to a credible threat of imminent spruce budworm damage and the forest stand criteria needed for presalvage and salvage harvesting; and
(3) Define the size and scope of presalvage and salvage harvesting projects that will require additional review by the bureau. [2015, c. 314, §12 (NEW).]
B. The Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry shall consult with the Commissioner of Environmental Protection and the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to ensure that rules adopted under this subsection are consistent with wildlife habitat and environmental protection. [2015, c. 314, §12 (NEW).]
C. Except as otherwise provided in this subchapter or in rules developed pursuant to this subsection, the provisions of chapter 805, subchapter 3-A do not apply to presalvage and salvage harvesting regulated under this subchapter. [2015, c. 314, §12 (NEW).]
D. The rules must provide that regeneration requirements adopted by rule pursuant to section 8869, subsection 1 apply to spruce budworm timber harvesting conducted pursuant to this subchapter. [2015, c. 314, §12 (NEW).]
[ 2015, c. 314, §12 (NEW) .]
6. Penalties.   A person who violates this section or a rule adopted pursuant to this section commits a civil violation and is subject to the following penalties:
A. A person who violates this section or a rule adopted pursuant to this section commits a civil violation for which a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000 may be adjudged for each day of that violation; and [2015, c. 314, §12 (NEW).]
B. A person who violates this section or a rule adopted pursuant to this section after having previously been adjudicated of a violation of this section within the previous 5-year period commits a civil violation for which a fine of not less than $1,000 but not more than $2,000 may be adjudged for each day of that violation. [2015, c. 314, §12 (NEW).]
If the economic benefit resulting from the violation exceeds the applicable penalties under paragraphs A and B, the maximum fines may be increased. The maximum fine may not exceed an amount equal to twice the economic benefit resulting from the violation. The bureau shall consider as economic benefit, without limitation, the costs avoided or the enhanced value accrued at the time of the violation by the violator as a result of not complying with the applicable legal requirements.
[ 2015, c. 314, §12 (NEW) .]
SECTION HISTORY
2015, c. 314, §12 (NEW).