Connecticut Attorney General's Office

Press Release

Attorney General, DEP Win Injunction To Stop Continued Destruction From Illegal Logging

August 30, 2010

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal won a court injunction today that stops illegal logging in multiple Connecticut towns where extensive unpermitted tree harvesting – enough timber to build about 75 houses – has already caused significant environmental damage.

            Blumenthal pursued the temporary injunction in coordination with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) against Scott Lee of Pomfret.

Lee is required to have a DEP Forest Practitioner Certification to contract for and harvest 25,000 board feet in any 12-month period on another’s property. Lee has already harvested an estimated 750,000 board feet of trees in only five months at properties in Bethel and Pomfret combined. Logging at a Putnam property, where Lee also has a contract with a property owner, has not commenced.

“This court order temporarily stops uncertified logging that has already destroyed trees, soil and stream channels on nearly 100 acres of land,” Blumenthal said. “Uncertified and untrained individuals engaging in commercial logging can cause significant damage. Improper logging threatens to harm not only the properties where logging occurs -- but surrounding streams and land.

“My office will continue to fight for a permanent injunction to protect against unpermitted logging and needless destruction of Connecticut land.”

Around Jan. 3, Lee contracted with Genesis Properties, LLC -- owner of 142 Park Road in Bethel -- to perform a timber harvest on about 65 acres of land, which he began that month. In April, he entered into another contract with the owner of 585 Mashmoquet Road in Pomfret to harvest more timber on 30 acres of land.

Connecticut DEP Foresters visited both properties and discovered significant damage to inland wetlands and watercourses, including unpermitted filling of a watercourse with silt and woody debris, filling of wetlands with sediment, erosion of hillsides, and diversion of stream channels. The harvests have also caused deep and extensive rutting of the soils, disrupting soil hydrology.

In April, Lee also contracted with the property owner of 106 Rhode Island Line Road of Putnam to illegally harvest more trees. Logging on that property has not yet begun.