Weyerhaeuser settles Current Use issue for $375,000

copyright the Chronicle July 19, 2017

by Elizabeth Trail

 

The Weyerhaeuser corporation has agreed to pay the state of Vermont $375,000 to settle a longstanding argument over whether the company should lose tax breaks on 56,000 acres in the Northeast Kingdom because of a forest management violation seven years ago.

In 2010, the company that then owned the land, Plum Creek Maine Timberlands, allegedly violated its forest management plan when a contract logger cut too many trees on a 140-acre stand in Lemington.

The land is part of the former Champion lands in Essex County.

State and county foresters said they also found other environmental violations on the site, such as failure to install silt dams to prevent runoff into a stream.

Plum Creek immediately halted cutting on the stand and fixed the environmental problems.

But in 2011, the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation recommended that Plum Creek lose its right to pay taxes at the Current Use rate — not just for the 140-acre parcel, or even for the 9,000 acres the company owned in Lemington, but for all of the 56,000 contiguous acres that Plum Creek owned in the Kingdom.

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