Update: 3/22/2012 6:45 P.M.
Cyril Pletcher, Junior, who everyone knows as "Bud" Pletcher, has been in the logging business since 1980. But he believes he's now been unfairly targeted, because of comments made by Elizabeth Moore. Pletcher says, not only was he not involved in logging on her ravenswood-area property, he has had little contact with her.
"The only time I saw her trees, is when we were cutting on our side of the property. I looked over and saw her trees, and that's as close as I have ever been to her property."
The person with whom Moore entered into a contract was Pletcher's son, who Pletcher says left his company beforehand. Pletcher says his son made that contract on his own, with no involvement from his father.
"I saw a copy of the contract Mrs. Moore showed me, and his name, Cyril C. Pletcher the third, is on it," Bud Pletcher says. "He was representing himself."
That's something with which the West Virginia Division of Forestry agrees. Forester Vernon Stephens told us late Thursday afternoon that the younger pletcher is accused of three misdemeanors: not having a timber license and not having a certified logging license, and failure to notify state foresters of having a logging operation.
Stephens also said his father is not part of the forestry division's investigation.
The elder Pletcher maintains the controversy has hurt his business.
"The people we actually work for, they've had 2-300 phone calls asking why they have thieves working for them, Pletcher says. "It's going to hurt their business down the road, when we didn't have anything to do with it."
Moore is seeking the five thousand dollars she says she was promised in her contract, for the removal of the trees from her property. Bud Pletcher says that's something she will have to work out with his son, who we have not been able to reach for comment.
Late last year, Elizabeth Moore was asked by an area logging company for permission to clear timber on her land, located just outside Ravenswood. She says she was offered a contract which was to pay her $5,000. Moore says she later was told the timber was valued at more than twice that amount.
"A forester who specializes in assessing this sort of thing," Moore noted, "says the logging company took almost $17,000 worth of timber, and that they left the property ravished."
When we contacted the forester, he told us he would not discuss the issue, without a Freedom of Information Act request. We tried to reach the contractor by phone, but when we called the number on the report Moore provided us, we got a recording saying it was no longer in service. Moore now believes she should have contacted the West Virginia Division of Forestry before signing a contract.
"A lot of times, people are unaware that they do have certain guidelines, and there are professionals who (do this) free of charge," she says. "So, feel free to call the forestry department."
A representative of a local forestry company who inspected the property said he found "a general disregard by the loggers" for the land, safety and whatever timber was left over.