William Clark, Severna Park man, accused of illegally clearing trees

BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland's attorney general says a 73-year-old Severna Park man is the first to be charged criminally under the state's Critical Area law.

Attorney General Doug Gansler says William Clark was charged in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court for illegally clearing trees. The attorney general says Clark's property sits on Sullivan Cove near the Severn River and that the tree clearing violated critical area and buffer regulations.

The attorney general announced the six misdemeanor charges against Clark on Wednesday. Gansler says the charges were filed after the Critical Area Commission for the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays referred the matter to his office for investigation.

The critical area program is designed to improve water quality and protect wildlife habitat in tidal shoreline areas.