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The joys of rural property ownership...

3033 Views 100 Replies 39 Participants Last post by  leenie
I bought another 30 acres right down the road from where we live last summer. It's in land use, so taxes are nothing.
A beautiful piece of land with a small trout stream. My dream to have.
I month after I buy it, the old fart next door that has a 17 acre contiguous tract next to mine, calls to let me know he's clear cutting the 17 acres. Initially I'm like WXF??

I express my serious concerns since most properties up here in Maine only have a meets and bounds deed.

The big oak tree over by the small pile of rocks, down the hill to the creek bank...that kind. Absolutely worthless.
This is the type of deed shared by both properties.

I send him a certified letter with my concerns, he won't accept it.
He calls and says he's having his daughter and son in law using a phone app to delineate the property lines. I still have serious doubts

SO now the battle begins. Timber trucks going by at 6am pulling the jake brake acting like a retard. Of course my Presa's react on a hair trigger, and go ape sxxx!

Temperatures rising and the possibility for a real conflict is rising also.

FYI, timber up here is BIG business. Someone cuts a bunch of your standing timber, and you're talking thousands, probably tens of thousands of dollars of pinched timber.

My lot is entirely forested with mature and soft and hardwood.
Had to call Maine Forestry Service, have a ranger come out, inspect the job-site and open a complaint.

Meantime I'm paying a surveyor $6K to survey the entire property perimeter. Had to be done eventually anyway.
The sooner you get on and record illegally cut timber stumpage for evidence the better for evidence.

The story continues....
Will update.

Maine Guy
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A survey will clear up any legal issues. It is money well spent. As stated above, most loggers won’t mess with small parcels
M2HB is correct. You don't know what you actually have until a survey is completed. Also, timber companies generally won't bid on small tracts because it is so expensive to move equipment to the job site. It's like moving a circus. It has been my experience that they prefer to move from job site to job site rather than transporting equipment back to the yard and then to the next job site.

In 2016 I bought a tract which had been clear cut some years prior and the owner never replanted but left it to grow wild. I paid to have a survey done and the property boundaries plainly marked, paid to have a heavy equipment operator cut a fire break around the entire property, paid to have almost the entire property sprayed with herbicide by a helicopter, paid to have a controlled burn conducted and paid to have somewhere between 31,00 or 32,00 pine seedlings planted. The planting was in February of 2018. Expensive but the results made the effort and expense worthwhile. The timber is growing amazingly fast and the food plots are productive each year. It's an investment.

Where I am going with this is pine is a crop to be managed and harvested. If I had a tract with hardwood trees such as oak and hickory, I wouldn't cut it but pine is different. That is why, in my opinion, clear cutting is common in South Carolina. The crop is being harvested.

I bought another tract in late 2022 and I just paid a survey company to return to the tract and clearly mark the property boundaries in preparation for a thinning. Not a clear cut but a thinning. I wouldn't sign a contract with a timber broker if the property was not properly surveyed and marked, since in South Carolina, the owner of the illegally timbered wood can get three times damages. Or he can sue you.

What frosts me are land owners that have timber cut and don't retain some of the earnings to properly replant.

My experience in timber tracts is limited to South Carolina and I don't have an idea what goes on in other states.

Maine Guy - Good luck. You are wise to have a quality survey completed.
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You dont have to plant anything!
fourbore -

True, you don't have to plant anything. You can hope for the best but if the tract is replanted with quality, best genetics seedlings, you can expect much better results at harvest time(s). If you are developing a tract for wildlife, replanting with fruit trees is better than leaving it to volunteer growth.

My thoughts only but based on some amount of timber tract management.
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The mess most loggers leave is there forever. Skidder tracks are for keeps.
Don't let the logger cut when wet. Maybe not easy in Maine.
If the surveyor is going to do only one side, what if a problem comes up with a neighbor on another side? I think it is better to have the whole tact surveyed and the plat recorded at the appropriate county office (assessor's office, register of deeds, clerk of court, Register of Mesne Conveyance?).
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