WELD, Maine -- A land-use dispute between Linda Bean Folkers and local residents has escalated, as foresters for the granddaughter of L.L. Bean erected steel gates across private logging roads on her property.
The property was sealed a little more than a month after Folkers had a crew dismantle a three-walled lean-to near Little Jackson Mountain, which campers had used for 60 years.
''I very much care about the land," Folkers said Friday, after the gates were put up.
''This is my private property," she added, ''and I can do with it what I want. We have gates on all our forested properties."
Citing damage from all-terrain vehicles and discarded trash, Folkers banned camping, fires, and motorized vehicles on the 8,000 acres that she owns in this western Maine town. Hikers and hunters on foot have not been barred from the land, which used to be owned by a paper company and which had been open to public use.
In May, more than 100 townspeople voted to deny Folkers's request to put up a gate at an intersection leading to Tumbledown and Jackson mountains.
Some residents acknowledge that some campers had abused their privileges by leaving used diapers, toilet paper, beer cans and other trash in the traditional camping area known as Tumbledown Field. But many also felt that Folkers handled the situation the wrong way.
One resident, Bernard Rackliffe Jr., said the new gates block all-terrain-vehicle access to traditional hunting grounds, and detract from the area's beauty.
''They're putting up these ugly steel barriers that say 'keep out' and 'go away,' " he said.
Rackliffe suggested that Folkers's representatives may find more trash in the area as an ''in-your-face" reaction.
''I'm sorry they have that un-Christian attitude," Folkers responded. ''Retaliation is not my way of doing things."