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Testimony Regarding LD 349:  An Act to Establish a Mattress Stewardship Program

Once each year, approximately 30 30-yard dumpsters are filled to the brim with discarded mattresses, old tires, car parts, and other items dumped on the land of woodlot owners. This enormous clean-up effort, undertaken by a host of volunteers during IF&W and DACF’s Annual Cleanup Day, only touches upon a fraction of the waste that is illegally dumped.

A bill has recently been proposed that addresses the problem in the form of a discarded mattress stewardship program. Bill Williams, Deputy Executive Director of Maine Woodland Owners, points out that it’s important to “reduce overall waste and reduce the dumping of waste on woodland owner's property,” in his testimony for the bill.  To read his full testimony, click here.

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The 127th Legislature adjourned on April 29, and is unlikely to return until a new Legislature is seated in December. Here are highlights some of bills affecting woodland owners:


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Roads Update

We’ve made discontinued and abandoned roads a real focus of our legislative efforts.  The laws dealing with these roads are a complete mess, and failure to deal with them in any meaningful way for 40 years has just made the problems worse.  We have two bills in play.

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Tree Growth Update

We have spent a great deal of time protecting the Tree Growth Tax Law program. As I reported in previous Maine Woodland Owners newsletters, the Governor’s original budget proposal included a substantial rewrite of the law.

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Forest Landowners Have Broad Liability   Protections
This new feature by Maine Woodland Owners member Michael Maine, a licensed forester and attorney with Thomas P. Peters II & Associates, covers legal issues of particular interest to forest landowners. His presentation on discontinued and abandoned roads at the 2012 annual meeting helped spark the current legislative study.

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Legislative Update
LD 837 which would finalize the merger between the departments of Conservation and Agriculture has received initial approval from the Legislature and seems headed for passage.  You might remember that the two departments were put together in name (the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry) during last session, but the Legislature required that a detailed plan be submitted and approved by the Legislature or the consolidated department would spilt back into two departments at the end of 2014. 

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Legislative Update
The bill dealing with discontinued and abandoned Roads, LD 1177 “An Act to Implement the Recommendations from the Discontinued and Abandoned Roads Stakeholder Group” is being considered by the State and Local Government Committee. 

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The bill dealing with Discontinued and Abandoned Roads, LD 1177 “An Act to Implement the Recommendations from the Discontinued and Abandoned Roa...

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This legislation would add "Landowner Relations" to the mission of the Maine Forest Service.  While they have performed these functions for many ...

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A few times each session, we alert our members to pending legislation and ask for their help. We don’t do this on every issue, but on certain key bills or where we expect a hard fight, we will ask for your help. As a citizen and as landowners, you can be more effective in influencing legislation than you may think.

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