Unexpected Clearcuts

Greater Portland, Maine has been growing rapidly which includes my town of Scarborough. With “development” comes destruction. Since I purchased my house nine years ago this month I have witnessed many changes in my immediate neighborhood. Where there was once a large open field and woods is now a housing development. The majority of older homes that have sold within the past couple of years went under contract within days, were gutted then renovated before being flipped. Abutting my neighbors across the street was some clear cutting due to a parking lot expansion for a new medical building so that they now have a view of a parking lot! 

This is one of the reasons why my own two acres of woods in my backyard have been extra special to me. It’s also why when I came home from running some errands I was heartbroken and shocked when I saw what had happened in less than a day.

On Tuesday I had heard the sound of trees being cut down, but I couldn’t see anything when I looked out into my woods. I even went to the edge of my property line and saw nothing–it was in the distance. I shrugged it off. 

On Wednesday when I returned home just before noon, Wishy jumped up and down when he saw me. I thought that was so cute, and then I looked up. It was a misty day and the light seemed so weird and different than ever before. It was then that I realized that a chunk of distant woods was missing!

I panicked, got into my car and drove to the access road where my property line ends.

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Acres have been clear cut by a logging company within 25 feet of my property line.


This is how it looked before, courtesy of Google maps. My woods are to the right of here. Although I’m an abutter I was never notified. I learned that my town has no such requirement. Sadly courtesy didn’t rule over that decision, either. The land has been cleared  for a future unknown development (as in even the town states they do not know). I have no answers other than that what they did was legal.


That open space behind my trees as viewed from my backyard is where the clearing took place. At night, instead of beautiful darkness and the illusion of being far away from it all, the lights from a distant parking lot can be seen. And soon, there will be something built in that clearing.

I know I was lucky to enjoy nine years of it being untouched. When the foliage is in bloom it should help. I hope the deer still come visit. It was just so unexpected and has made me very sad.

So this morning, when I checked my mail, I had another unexpected surprise. This one was also clear cut, yet beautiful!

Grandpa Tree Engraving.jpg

My sweet cousin sent me this lovely engraved decorative art of trees. It was made by my late grandfather about fifty or more years ago. He used to do piece work hand engraving for Tiffany in New York City during the 1960s.

Grandpa Engraving Tiffany.jpg

Shown is a pendant (not Tiffany) that he had engraved for me when I was six years old.

My cousin knew how much I loved the little trees, and we had not talked before the clearcutting. The timing was an amazing coincidence. I lost some trees and now some “new” ones arrived from what feels like “above.” I have placed them on my window that overlooks the new view. I didn’t think anything could make me feel better but this really has.


8 thoughts on “Unexpected Clearcuts

  1. I’m really sorry about the clear cutting around your property. I would think that a cutting permit had to be secured before the trees were removed. I ask 1. The company doing the cutting. 2. Town or County commisioners regarding the project and approvals and who is the developer. Is there a Planning Commision overseeing your neck of the woods. Ask them the same questions. In any case there should have been a public review/comment period before the project was approved. If you fail to receive a response or answers, contact your State representative for answers. Your property is adjacent to this tragedy and you should have been notified before it began. Someone needs to admit responsibility/ownership of the project. Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I had immediately gone to Town Hall, reached out to the Town Planner. I also called the logging company who had the developer call me. Because there is “only” logging going on and as of yet no formally proposed building there, all that was needed was a permit from the state which was obtained. There was no need for a local permit for someone clearing trees on their private property beyond the state forestry department. There are no notification requirements in my town. Once there is a proposed project for the property the town will then get involved. Having said that, I am proposing that abutter notifications for logging be required and added to the town agenda for discussion/approval. The logging company even provided me with a template notification letter which was very nice of him to do! He said they would have notified me but they were hired by someone else so it was up to discretion of the developer.


  2. Averyl, I completely understand your horrid experience with the clear cutting. We have lived on Rt. 77 for 40 plus years and used to have a lovely view of field and trees across the street and our greatest joy was seeing pheasants fly or walk across to the field beside our house. In Cape Elizabeth we do have hearings for abbuttors and we even had a lawyer attend the meetings with us but to no avail. The owner wanted to make two-family dwellings but that was not allowed. Now we are stuck with ugly houses across the street.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am so sorry, Averyl!! I weep with you. 😦 Unfortunately, this is extremely common here in the North Texas area. I absolutely hate the mind-boggling speed with which development has taken place here over the last 30 years or so. Back in the 80’s and even into the 90s you could still see lots of country between the suburbs that surround Dallas and Fort Worth. But there’s been so much uncontrolled growth the cities just run into each other anymore. There are less than a handful of cities around here deliberately choosing controlled growth. It’s the almighty tax dollar fueling this insanity. I call it the rape of the land.

    Liked by 1 person

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