Illegal timbering - Coonskin Park - West Virginia - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Contractor could be sued in illegal timbering at Coonskin Park

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A contractor has been accused of illegally timbering trees at Coonskin Park in Kanawha County, WV. A contractor has been accused of illegally timbering trees at Coonskin Park in Kanawha County, WV.
CHARLESTON, WV -

There are new developments in the case of a contractor who's accused of illegally timbering trees at Coonskin Park in Kanawha County, WV.

Members of the Kanawha County Parks and Recreation Commission met for a regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday.  Attorney Chuck Bailey said he is reviewing a new report from the Division of Forestry that focuses David Bowen a contractor accused of illegal timbering.

Bowen was hired by the commission to clean up debris and tress from the June 2012 derecho.  Park officials didn't know there was a problem with Bowen's work until a meeting over the summer. A resident told park officials she believed there was unauthorized timbering happening at the park.

"There were a lot of trees that had been cut, a lot of stumps left," said director Jeff Hutchinson.

County officials believe Bowen went further out into the park and cut down healthy trees for a profit.

"We found an access road, a logging road, going down over the hill here and there'd been a lot of activity here," Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson said the commission entered into an oral agreement with Bowen in good faith.

Bowen has been cooperating with the park in light of the allegations, Hutchinson says.  He is repairing all of the damage that he can.  The park hopes to work out an agreement with Bowen once the commission has a chance to go over the Division of Forestry report.

Bailey said no decision has been made as to whether or not the park will sue Bowen.

The Kanawha County Sheriff's Department is also investigating Bowen's actions. He could face criminal charges in the matter.