Canton officials are expected Thursday night to continue discussion on gating both ends of Meadowview Road to try and stop illegal dumping and destruction of the dirt road by young people in pickup trucks with mudding tires.
At previous meetings, selectmen decided to take a stronger tack and asked Administrator Scotty Kilbreth to get prices for industrial strength gates.

CANTON — For 21 years, Ray Hamilton of Livermore has fought to protect Meadowview Road from people he says destroy it with pickup trucks and mudding tires when the frost is coming out.

He said Canton doesn’t maintain the road, so the lack of drainage channels and water bars leave large pools of standing water from spring rains that soften the road, and then people rut up the road with pickup trucks.

While on a walk Tuesday morning on the Canton side of the road with his grandson, Jack Herr, 4, of Livermore and friend Shirley LeSuer of Jay, Hamilton used a collapsible shovel and his rubber-booted feet to create drainage channels and makeshift water bars.

He dug out a culvert that he said pickup trucks had crushed while driving through mud on the inside edge of a sharp, banked curve where mud forms when the frost leaves the ground. Melting ice on the dirt road and Tuesday’s rains had filled the ruts with water that wasn’t draining until he dug the culvert free.

Other problems include fireworks being set off on LeSuer’s property, people growing marijuana, jacking deer and leaving the carcasses to rot, and cutting down live trees with axes and trying to burn them, Hamilton said.


He said he got permission this year from E.J. Carrier, Inc. of Jackman, which owns about 1,300 acres in the area, to post the land so that anyone caught trespassing will be summoned.

Carrier’s agent Bill Jarvis, a forest land manager with Jarvis Forest Management in Jackman, said Thursday by email that Hamilton was only given permission to post those areas where people have been having parties, having illegal campfires, and littering.

Hamilton lives on the road and owns 100 acres. Besides Hamilton, LeSuer and Carrier, the other landowners are a woman in Union, a lawyer who owns 100 feet around the entirety of Forest Pond and the town of Canton.

Keeping the road intact and trying to stop decades of illegal trash dumping, bonfires and drinking parties by underage teens to people in their 30s on hundreds of acres of woods owned by the six landowners has been a losing battle, Hamilton and LeSuer said.

Both blame the lack of law enforcement. But Oxford County Sheriff Wayne Gallant and Maine State Police Lt. Walter Grzyb say there’s only so much they can do with limited manpower and vehicles that cannot get into a lot of the party sites.

Hamilton said state troopers stopped some young people who were drinking on the other end of the road (in Livermore) a couple of weekends ago and let them go.


“And they were drinking and driving!” Hamilton said. 

Grzyb disputed that. He said state police have a zero-tolerance policy against underage drinking and driving. He said a trooper and an Oxford County deputy responded to the Livermore end of Meadowview Road when they received a complaint on April 3 about 10 or more youths partying at a site in the woods.

The trooper couldn’t drive over the rutted road, but the deputy used a four-wheel drive truck to find the group. He broke up the party and issued trespass notices.

“The law requires that they be warned before they can be arrested,” Grzyb said. “Their names were written down and they were told not to come back.”

He said that while the trooper was parked on the Crash Road where Meadowview Road comes out in Livermore, about a dozen young people tried to get in on the road to drive to the party but were turned away by the trooper.

“It’s a constant struggle and it seems like every year or two at this time, we start getting complaints that kids are going in there to party,” Grzyb said.


Hamilton and LeSuer said they were glad to learn this spring that Canton officials are trying to help alleviate the problems for landowners.

“Finally, the town of Canton has had enough and they’re going to try and stop it,” Hamilton said. “They’ve proposed to gate it temporarily and that’s a fantastic idea and we’re all in favor of that, but they better build one hell of a rugged gate.”

Hamilton said the Livermore end where Meadowview Road exits onto Crash Road, is where the problems are currently. LeSuer said loggers built a nice road in there this winter.

“And they’ve stove it all to hell,” Hamilton said of partygoers in pickup trucks with mudding tires.

“They have a big party spot there and last year they dumped a snowmobile there and they left it and burned it and we called the game wardens and, finally, it disappeared,” he said. “And the town went out and pushed everything over the bank. They had a big firepit there.”

Sheriff Gallant said it’s frustrating responding to complaints on and off Meadowview Road because there are many property owners and police have no idea whether someone has given permission for partyers to be on private land.


Also, the road passes through two counties and two towns. “So there’s no reason for us to patrol there, because it brings us into another county,” Gallant said. “But if we get a call from someone, we’ll definitely go in and check it out.”

He added, “I only have so many people for so many calls. So, unless we get complaints, we don’t patrol there. Canton owns land in there and I’ve talked to Canton officials and they don’t even know where their land is.”

Edited 4/23/15: Hamilton lives in Livermore; landowner is E.J. Carrier, Inc. of Jackman, who owns about 1,300 acres, and has only given him permission to post those areas where people have been having parties, having illegal campfires, and littering.

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