Maine Forest Rangers Patrol for Illegal Tipping

Updated 1 year ago

Collecting branches for wreath-makers is a business that can be very profitable.

It’s called tipping.

There are also rules and regulations to follow.

“They’re required to have landowner permission, they’re required to tip in the areas that the landowner wants them to tip, they more than likely cannot cut the whole tree down, so what we’re doing, is we’re out here trying to protect the landowners property,” says District Ranger, Peter Pelletier, of the Maine Forest Service.

“They make us go by the same standards as if we were cutting, you know, with large logging equipment. That’s where our biggest cost is. And, then we pay so much a pound in stumpage, what we pick on top of that,” says Everett Kennedy, who has been tipping full-time for about six years.

Maine Forest Rangers just made a big bust of 1500 pounds of stolen tips.

“There are folks that take advantage of areas where they think they can get away without having to purchase the permits,” said Pelletier.

Rangers say the stolen tips aren’t wasted.

“We confiscate those tips. We take those tips to a buyer, who gives us a voucher for the amount, quantity of tips that we turn in. Then after prosecution, if those individuals are convicted of tipping illegally, the money goes back to the landowner,” says Pelletier.

If you’re interested in tree tipping, rangers can help guide you to keep it legal.

  • Chastity Marie Peck

    There is a difference in theft and just plan simply thinking you are in the right area of you permit and somehow are not. It was a simple mistake made on the parts of those involved in this case and to keep referring to it as theft really they had their permit and were only 1 mile ofcourse not realizing they were between the wrong markers. Yes Maine Forrest Rangers should be proud they busted those whom had paid for a permit but were just a little off course kudos to where our state funding is going so glad they caught the bad people lol. People whom have never had a bad thing on their records ever and have made a living on making wreaths for many many years. Mistakes are made no one is perfect to me this went to far. Thanks.

    • justsaynotogovt

      With today’s advancements in mapping/gps technology, there is no excuse for being “only 1 mile off course”. A mile is a long way to be off. It is the responsibility of the individual to follow their permit properly. If they were on another tract of land than their permit allowed, they were still stealing. Intentional or not, it’s still theft. You might feel differently if it was you land they “accidentally” were tipping on.