FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 17, 2019
Kate Spiner, N.H. Department of Justice, Attorney General’s Office
First civil penalty imposed under New Hampshire’s Enhanced Penalty Timber Law
Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald and the New Hampshire Forest Protection Bureau announce that on October 24, 2019, the Merrimack County Superior Court ordered Michael B. Carter of Bradford to pay a $10,000 enhanced civil penalty under RSA 227-G:10. RSA 227-G:10 authorizes the Attorney General to petition the superior court to impose enhanced penalties on individuals with multiple forestry-related criminal convictions. Mr. Carter pleaded guilty to nine separate forestry-related offenses between 2013 and 2015.
Allegations of timber harvesting related violations are investigated by state forest rangers. Penalties for these crimes range from civil fines to misdemeanors and felonies. Under the enhanced penalty law, each conviction is assigned up to three points, depending upon the severity of the infraction. RSA 227-G:10 authorizes New Hampshire courts to impose enhanced civil penalties when an individual’s timber violation convictions total eight or more points within a seven-year period. Funds collected through civil penalties imposed under this statute are placed in a fund for forest protection and management.
The New Hampshire Forest Protection Bureau is part of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources’ Division of Forests and Lands, which protects and promotes the value provided by trees, forests, and natural communities. For more information about the Division of Forests and Lands and the work of its Forest Protection Bureau, visit nh.gov/nhdfl or call 603-271-2214.
Attorney Samuel Garland of the Department of Justice Civil Bureau litigated this case on behalf of the state.