Following the publishing of this story, the Hur Herald received death threats by regular mail and e-mail, their sources never learned.

By Bob Weaver 2/2/2001

A Roane County logger is being accused of destroying sections of newly improved highway on Rowels Run. After investigating the problem yesterday, assistant Calhoun road supervisor Joe Webb said "They have ruined what we did last summer. It is showing severe damage." The trucks, including long-based trailers, are too heavy for the roadway and often appear overloaded for the rural road.

Saunder's logging trucks "often appear overweight."

Saunder's truck coming up Rowels Run

A section of Rowels Run received asphalt pavement last fall and another section on lower Rowels Run received a few miles of chip and tar pavement. Both are showing severe strain, according to Webb.

New Asphalt shows wear near Hur Hill turn.

He said it was not the Department of Highway's jurisdiction to enforce West Virginia logging laws, although "We are going to do everything possible to relieve this situation."

Hollie Murphy says "It's disgraceful if we let them do this."

Cremo resident Hollie Murphy said trucks used by Saunders Logging of Spencer are harming several sections of Rowels Run. Saunders Logging is reportedly owned by Jerry Saunders, whose address is listed on Stover Fork near U. S. 33, Ripley Road. "We finally got this country road improved after forty years and this logging is destroying it," he said.

Damage at "Holl Kerby Turn" where truck and trailer got stuck.

Murphy said one of Saunder's trucks was grossly overloaded last Saturday night and got stuck for a few hours in the "Holl Kerby Turn" near Hur. "There was no doubt in my mind what they were doing," he said. The new asphalt in that area is showing "cracks and breaking away," he said. "There are places down to the mud near my house."

Roadway turning into mud holes.

The Saunder's operation has reportedly been in conflict with forestry agents in the past few weeks over their logging practices on Little Rowels Run. The rural road which connects Rowels Run and Little Creek was recently upgraded by the WVDOH with stone and gravel. It is no longer passable except with 4-wheel drive vehicles.

Little Rowels Road was improved recently with rock and stone.

Road near logging site.

A local logger said it was a "bad time to move logs." Some states have "frost laws" and require bonding to protect highways. West Virginia does not. The Saunders operation did not respond to inquiries.

Hur Herald from Sunny Cal
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