Abusing Maine’s Open Tradition

Press Herald:

NORTH WATERBORO — Dale Tarbox says he’s glad to share his small corner of Maine, a picturesque pond with clear water and plenty of bass.So he allows anyone to use a dirt road and trail across his land for launching kayaks, canoes and small motorboats on Isinglass Pond. “It doesn’t bother me, as long as they respect it,” he said.

But he’s had to think twice this summer, Tarbox said as he stood on the road near a pile of discarded roofing shingles, a half-dozen empty beer cans and the carcass of a dead skunk. Posted on a tree above the shingles is a yellow “No Dumping” sign, with a clear warning that abuse could result in loss of access.

“We put those up (in May) after they brought the hot tub in,” Tarbox said.

Landowners like Tarbox are the keepers of a distinctive Maine tradition — open recreational access to privately owned woodlands and waterfronts. But it’s a tradition that may be in jeopardy, as lands are subdivided, populations spread out and abuses test the limits of landowner hospitality.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s