Testimony by Catherine Johnson, NRCM North Woods Project Director
Good afternoon Sen. Perry, Rep. Piotti and members of the Committee. My name is Cathy Johnson. I am here today on behalf of more than 10,000 members and supporters of the Natural Resources Council of Maine in support of L.D. 255, An Act Concerning Litigation Brought by the Attorney General To Enforce Provisions of the Forest Practices Laws.
Most violations of the Forest Practices are and should be settled through administrative settlement agreements. However, occasionally violators apparently determine that it is in their financial interest to drag the process out through lengthy litigation, even knowing that they will almost certainly lose at the end.
By requiring violators to pay the costs of the litigation when they lose, this bill will provide those who have violated the Forest Practices Act with an added incentive to settle the case through administrative settlement agreements, rather than put the State through the added expense of litigation. This will save the State the costs associated with the Maine Forest Service staff who manage the case and testify at the trial, the Attorney General’s office staff who prosecute the case of behalf of the State, and the State’s judicial system where the case is heard.
This bill makes sense from a policy perspective and saves the State money. We encourage you to vote Ought to Pass on L.D. 255.