Illegal woodcutting leads to restitution and jail time

Release Date: Jan 15, 2013  

Contact(s): Coconino Supervisor's Office 928-527-3600

Flagstaff, Ariz. – A Cornville resident was recently arrested in Coconino National Forest for illegal woodcutting, interfering with the law and resisting arrest, and was ordered to pay $1,000 in restitution after being jailed for seven days.


On Jan. 4, David Saimo was in the process of illegally cutting down an old growth live Alligator Juniper tree in the Dry Creek area of the Red Rock Ranger District when Forest Service law enforcement officers on patrol drove into the area. Saimo tried to flee the scene and was eventually apprehended after a brief struggle with the law enforcement officer.


Saimo pled guilty in Flagstaff’s Federal Magistrates Court on Jan. 11 for resisting an officer and illegal woodcutting.  The maximum penalty for a Class B misdemeanor such as Siamo’s is six months in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.


In addition to the $1,000 restitution, Saimo was placed on two years unsupervised probation where he is banned from entering all national forest in the state. The funds from the restitution will go towards watershed improvement in the area where he was illegally cutting wood.


The juniper was more than 100 years old, was the tallest tree in the area and measured over 40 inches in diameter and approximately 60 feet tall.  Saimo said he had planned to sell the cut up pieces as firewood.