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Court orders restitution in Elliott State Forest tree removal, road damage case
Contact: Norma Kline
541-267-1742, nkline@odf.state.or.us 
Two Winchester Bay residents have been ordered to pay $700 apiece for illegal removal of a tree and damage to a road stemming from an incident on the Elliott State Forest in December 2009. Last Friday, the Reedsport Justice Court levied the penalties on Sanford James Haines, Jr., and Andrew Lee Bowman.
Judge Russell Trump fined the men $200 each for cutting and transporting forest products without a permit, and $500 apiece in restitution for the value of the tree and the cost of road repairs incurred by the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF), manager of the public forest. In addition, they will serve three years of bench probation.
“They apparently pulled the downed tree off the hill with a chain and deeply rutted the forest road in the process,” Douglas County Deputy District Attorney Luke Stanton said. “The restitution that was ordered is basically a quasi-civil remedy for victims of crimes to be made whole.”
He credited two local loggers who reported the crime for making the case possible. They called in the incident, he said, and provided a license plate number.
Norma Kline, ODF assistant district forester in Coos Bay, was pleased with the outcome.
“We’re serious about prosecuting illegal firewood cutting,” she said.
Haines, Jr., and Bowman had cut the large, mature tree into firewood and hauled most of it away. ODF donated the wood recovered in the investigation to a local organization that distributed it to elderly residents in need of firewood.
The crime occurred on 7500 Road, also known as Footlog Road, off of Highway 38 on the northern end of the state forest. So extensive was the damage to the road that ODF had to replace a culvert, Kline said.
Sanford pleaded guilty and Bowman no-contest to the charges.
“This was a good resolution to the case given the facts that were provable,” Stanton said.