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Belt man ordered to pay $10K for illegal logging











GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) -- A 35-year-old Belt man has been ordered to pay $10,050 for cutting more than 100 large-diameter trees in the Lewis and Clark National Forest to build a log cabin near Monarch.






Evan Ross Asleson pleaded guilty to theft and damage of government property, as well as cutting and removing timber from public lands. The Great Falls Tribune reports that U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Strong handed down his judgment Thursday.






Prosecutors say Asleson cut 160 trees on forest land near Monarch in the fall of 2007, but he told authorities he did not know the trees were on national forest land.






Asleson also was accused of cutting additional trees along a Forest Service road, though he said he had done so in accordance with his firewood permit.






Court records say skidding activities on the road damaged a culvert.






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Information from: Great Falls Tribune, http://www.greatfallstribune.com






Copyright 2010 The AP.



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