Skip to comments.Timber thieves make away with leafy bounty
Posted on 12/31/2007 5:00:03 AM PST by Red in Blue PA
WHITESBURG, Kentucky (AP) -- The crime scene -- a once-wooded landscape marked by tire tracks and tree stumps -- makes the victim, Verna Potter, feel physically violated.
Dave Potter, left, and his cousin, Mark Combs, sit on oaks that were allegedly chopped down by a timber thief.
"It's just like someone cut your heart out," says the 77-year-old Potter, who lost an estimated $50,000 worth of generations-old oak trees, which were taken from her property and sold, without permission, while she was away.
Rogue loggers have long preyed on private properties from coast to coast, taking advantage of the elderly, the absent or -- in Potter's case -- both. And they traditionally had little to fear from law enforcement officials hesitant to pursue criminal charges, instead chalking up most complaints to property disputes.
But as timber values rise, so have the stakes for landowners -- and the attitude of law enforcement is adjusting accordingly.
(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
Seriously, I have no patience for thieves. They need to be caught, have their equipment confiscated and either given to the property owner or sold and the proceeds given to the owner, and whatever the estimated value of the wood needs to be given to the owner, plus cost for suffering. The thieves then need to be locked up, or better yet, put on a work detail where they can clear land legally.
.....I’m a land owner in the mountains of NC and haven’t heard of this in our county....it seems to me that timber poaching would be difficult....nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing goes un-noticed in our hollow....when they log around here it takes effort....first they’ve got to cut roads with a dozer and gravel and culvert the entrance.....then they bring in the logging equipment...then there’s a procession of logging trucks going back and forth....this can go on for days....logging is not a stealth operation.
I agree. But sadly, this type of theft will probably not be prosecuted vigorously. Even if caught, my guess is that they will keep their equipment and pay a small fine.
Another side effect of Global Warming........the need for firewood.
Would Global warming mean less of a need for firewood?
Just west of you in SE Tennessee it's rocks, not logs that are being stolen. Mountain stone has become big business in my neck of the woods. They (mostly Mexicans) trespass onto out of town property owners property and steal mountain stone by the truckload. About a mile down the road from me here on the Cumberland Plateau they are reeking havoc on the face of the mountain, creating washes deeper than I am tall and they are exposing Whitwell Shale, which leaches sulfuric acid when exposed to rain water. The scar they are leaving can be seen miles away and the State and Feds do nothing. However, if you turn a spade of dirt and a little muddy water runs into a storm drain, expect life in prison.....
Priced a cord of Oak firewood lately?
Guess I should have supplied a sarcasm tag for previous post. It’s been a cold winter for lots of folks.
Besides the value of the trees, I would feel violated as well. I know how much effort I am putting into growing just 2 nice trees in my formerly treeless yard, and the thought of them growing for 50 years and then being hacked off by thieves is terrible. You can’t replace old hardwood trees with a checkbook.
I’ve seen this in the midwest. They typically go for hardwoods and usually only take a few trees at a time. Doesn’t take them long and they work quick.
“Just west of you in SE Tennessee it’s rocks, not logs that are being stolen. Mountain stone has become big business in my neck of the woods.”
....is that the flat grey stone you’re talking about?....the kind they use in fireplaces?...it’s a very desirable building material in our county; especially the second home market....they all want a log home with a stacked stone fireplace...
.....the biggest poaching that I know of is ginseng(sp?).....you get guys slipping into the national forests to steal it....the worst rural crime is meth labs....people involved there are crazy....they’ll flat out kill you.
And in Oregon it was either western red & Port Orford cedars for lumber; or madrone & myrtle burls.
Yes, flat, grey stone usually used for fireplace facades and such. There's also what is known as "Crab Orchard" stone. This is flat sandstone, too, but it's more orange-yellow-golden in color and is usually sawed into bricks, but is sometimes used flat like mountain stone.
its a very desirable building material in our county; especially the second home market...
Yep, leaving here by the truckloads every day. I built the house I'm living in now, down to the last nail. I gathered all the stone I set in my 28' fireplace in the living room (vaulted ceiling), chimney, and exterior foundation facing from right here on the mountain, but that was several years before it became popular with the Mexicans.
.....the biggest poaching that I know of is ginseng(sp?).....you get guys slipping into the national forests to steal it
Yep, ginseng was a big deal around here about 20-30 years ago, but most of it has been harvested now. The places where it still grows are tightly guarded. I know a lady who lives nearby who still picks it for sale and the price is still high. She ain't talkin' about where she picks, either....
....the worst rural crime is meth labs....people involved there are crazy....theyll flat out kill you.
Yep, got those, too. The Meth thing has really backed off quite a bit in the past couple of years since they moved the over the counter cold medicines with psuedo-effedrine back behind the counter. There for a while, the cops were busting about one meth lab a week around here. Now, it's pretty rare. It's a good thing, too. Besides the meth-heads being crazy, they scrape match heads to obtain the red phosporus they need as a key ingredient to make their brew. As a volunteer fireman, I've helped put out the local community trash compactor about a dozen times when the meth-heads would throw full garbage bags of scraped matches into the compactor. They leave just enough of the red phosphorus to make it catch fire when it's compacted. We had one that was a real roaring blaze. It took 8, 3000 gallon tanks of water to put out......and it ruined the compactor.
..thanks for the feedback and Happy New Year!
Does homeowners insurance cover this??