TOWNSHIP 10 — A youth group from Washington County has been identified as the party responsible for building a lean-to shelter on Tunk Mountain earlier this year.
Forest Ranger Rick Henion discovered the structure Feb. 5. A subsequent post on the Maine Forest Rangers Facebook page, with a photo, led to information about the church-affiliated youth group.
Henion said he did not know the name of the group, but that a forest ranger in Washington County had spoken to one of the group’s leaders.
“They said, ‘Yup, sorry — it was us,’” Henion said.
Henion said the shelter was built during a trip designed to get kids outdoors “and away from video games.”
Forest rangers were concerned about the building of the shelter because it used trees that were cut on top of the mountain and because those trees were cut without permission.
Tunk Mountain is located in Township 10, between Franklin and Cherryfield. The lean-to was built on public reserved land.
Henion said members of the group will be going up to Tunk Mountain again to disassemble the shelter and clean the area up.
Forest rangers also will work with the Division of Parks & Public Lands (formerly the Bureau of Parks and Lands) to figure out what else will be done.
Maine state law addresses the unlawful cutting of trees and provides for fines to be levied against those who did the cutting. Henion said the youth group will not be fined, though.
“We can’t sit here with a straight face and whack someone with a fine for this,” he said.