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Environment

DNR nabs timber thieves on state land in Lewis County

stolen log.jpg
Courtesy DNR
The men who illegally cut this alder log in Lewis County were arrested by DNR Law Enforcement officers who had staked out the area. This and another log had been stripped of bark and cut into 10-foot lengths for sale to a wholesale wood dealer.

State enforcement officers from the Department of Natural Resources have arrested two men for illegally cutting down large alder trees on state property.

The DNR blog Ear to the Ground reports that:

The men were caught after DNR officers staked out an area in Lower Chehalis State Forest where several alder trees had been cut down. The men arrested are linked to at least four recent thefts of timber — and perhaps several more — from public and private land in the area.

Logging tools and a one-ton flatbed truck equipped with a winch were impounded at the scene. The pair was released, but DNR says it plans to file felony charges against them. No value has yet been determined for the nearly-stolen logs, but DNR info guy Bob Redling e-mails me, "We will be seeking damages 3x the value of the logs from these guys."

Ear to the Ground notes that the state has seen a rise in timber theft in recent years, as maple, alder and cedar trees have become more valuable in the specialty timber market. The woods are used for furniture, musical instruments,  carved boxes and other high-value uses.