Wealthy Maine Couple Accused Of Poisoning Trees For Better Beach View
Photo by Ivan Dmitri/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Wealthy Maine Couple Accused Of Poisoning Trees For Better Beach View

Was it a case of poison in this small Maine community? One millionaire is accusing another wealthy Maine couple of poisoning trees in attempt to get a better view of the ocean. She said that the herbicide has then leaked onto the town's only public beach.

Lisa Gorman, wife of the late LL Bean president Leon Gorman, is accusing her neighbor of using herbicide on her oak trees. She claims that her neighbors Amelia Bond and Arthur Bond III used the herbicide without her consent in 2021. Amelia then offered to split the cost to have the trees removed from Gorman's property. All of this was done to give the Bonds an unobstructed view of the ocean, particularly Penobscot Bay.

However, this herbicide leaked onto the beach alarming local investigators. The herbicide is lethal to aquatic plants, posing a real issue. As a result, the wealthy Maine couple ended up paying thousands in fines and $1.5 million to Gorman. However, locals don't think it's enough. They see it as a slap on the wrist for the millionaires.

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Wealthy Maine Couple Angers Locals

"Anybody dumb enough to poison trees right next to the ocean should be prosecuted, as far as I'm concerned," Paul Hodgson, a resident, told the AP. The maximum fine is $4,500. Rep. Vicki Doudera suggested that the fines should reflect a person's income.

"It makes me so livid," Doudera told the AP. "This situation, the minute I heard about it, I thought, 'Wow! These people are going to get a slap on the wrist.' That's just not right."

Meanwhile, legal counsel for the Bonds said that the Maine couple "continue to cooperate with the town of Camden, state of Maine and the Gormans" and "continue to take the allegations against them seriously."

Since the herbicide doesn't break down, officials had to remove the affected soil and try to dillute the herbicide. They have to wait at least two years for the substance to dissipate. Locals are furious with what they consider wealthy out-of-towners.

"They just pay the fine because they have plenty of money," Hodgson said. "That's the town we live in."