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Division of Forestry orders good solution

The state Division of Forestry made a good correction in ordering a contractor to clean up the mess he created while cleaning up derecho debris at Coonskin Park.

The division suspended the timbering license of Russell Trucking LLC of Charleston until it provides restitution and corrects damage it did in the park. Forestry will supervise the company's corrective actions.

Russell Trucking was authorized to clean up fallen timber and clear areas after the June 29, 2012 derecho. The contractor was to do the work at no charge in exchange for keeping the downed timber he cleaned up.

But a visitor brought to the park board's attention that the contractor took more trees than necessary, damaged a park road, and created new logging roads in forested areas.

If the company doesn't provide restitution and properly remediate its damage, legal action is a possibility, but commissioners won't go that route until seeing Russell Trucking's corrective actions.

"He might come clean and write us a check and we all walk away," said Chuck Bailey, attorney for the Parks Commission.

Keeping the dispute out of the courts, unless that becomes absolutely necessary, is a good decision.



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