Timber Poaching – A Growing Timber Theft Problem
This month I’m reminded that timber theft or “poaching” isn’t unique to the United States. I ran across an article by Susan Lazaruk on October 10, 2018, about the rising problem of timber poaching in Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The pattern is the same in both places.
The article quotes Luke Clarke, a natural resource enforcement officer with the Forest, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Ministry. He says the problem has been increasing over the last couple of years across the Island. The thieves target commercial-grade timber and are selling them to unscrupulous mills or unsuspecting mills by falsifying ownership records. Or unsuspecting individuals buy the stolen timber.
In many cases the culprits are clearly amateurs or unconcerned about the public land as they try to turn a fast buck. They are entering Crown land (Canadian government land) and chopping down old-growth trees, many of which are one hundred years old.