AROOSTOOK COUNTY– Maine Forest Service (MFS) Forest Rangers charged two northern Maine men Wednesday in connection with damage done to an ATV trail by their motor vehicles.
Ryan O’Neal, 29, of Fort Fairfield and Kyle Sirois, 20, of Fort Kent have each been charged with operating a passenger vehicle on an ATV trail, a Class E crime punishable by up to six months in jail and a $500 fine.
MFS Forest Rangers, in addition, often ask for court-ordered restitution for the cost of repairing the damaged caused by this type of activity. Both men will appear in July Maine District Court inFortKent.
MFS Forest Ranger Craig Caron was on patrol Tuesday when he found truck tracks on an ATV trail in Township 17, Range 3, west of Van Buren, according to MFS Sgt. Lance Martin of thePortageoffice.
On further investigation, Caron discovered two pickup trucks that became stuck as they drove down the ATV trail. He interviewed the drivers and determined that they were out “mudding,” or intentionally operating their vehicles on the trail. They had traveled about 150 yards on the trail before getting stuck.
The land on which Caron discovered the alleged “mudders” is owned by Irving Woodlands Ltd., the state’s largest landowner.
“The forest management staff at Irving was very concerned when I notified them about this issue, as there is a stream nearby and they did not want any siltation to enter the water,” Caron said. He later determined that no siltation had in fact reached the stream. Siltation can damage water sources and fish habitats.
Investigation of and enforcement regarding such incidents is part of the responsibility of the Maine Forest Service Forest Rangers. To report instances of mudding, call the Maine Forest Service at 1-800-750-9777.
For more information about the Maine Forest Service, go to: http://www.maineforestservice.gov
For more information about the Maine Forest Rangers, go to: http://www.maine.gov/doc/mfs/ffchome.htm
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