Judging by the number of summonses issued by the Maine Warden Service, trespassing on private land – including on an ATV – is not a problem. Of course, if you have had a problem with a trespasser who was not caught and punished, you’re going to be unhappy – if not incredulous – at this report.
In 2011 game wardens issued only 69 summonses for trespassing offenses. That’s just .018 percent of the 3900 summonses issued that year. And it’s also 28 fewer summonses than the 98 that were issued by game wardens for illegal possession of marijuana!
Here are the numbers: 2 summonses issued for motor vehicle trespass, 17 for criminal trespass, 21 for abuse of property, 29 for operating an ATV on private or public land without permission, and 47 for littering.
Those who call game wardens the “Revenue Police” will get more ammunition from this report, because the preponderance of summonses were issued to people who failed to buy a proper permit, license, or registration.
For example, 215 summonses were issued for unregistered boats, 211 for unregistered ATVs, and 286 for unregistered snowmobiles. A total of 260 people were summonsed for fishing without a license and 49 for hunting without a license.
The offense that drew the most summonses, 494, was operating a boat without the required safety equipment.
While anglers debate the complexity of fishing rules, with a wide variety governing the number, weight, and size of fish that may be kept, only 79 anglers were summonsed for exceeding these limits. That would be .0003 percent of all anglers who fished in Maine in 2011.
Of course, it is also more people than were cited for trespassing violations!
NOTE: I’m still tabulating and plowing through the information provided by the Maine Warden Service at my request of the summonses issued in 2011, and will have more reports, including analysis, soon.