Central Oregon Daily▶️ 400-year-old tree among victims of increased tree poaching near Sisters

▶️ 400-year-old tree among victims of increased tree poaching near Sisters

▶️ 400-year-old tree among victims of increased tree poaching near Sisters

▶️ 400-year-old tree among victims of increased tree poaching near Sisters

The U.S. Forest Service says there has been an increase of tree poaching in the Deschutes National Forest near Sisters. The service says hundreds of trees have been illegally cut since the pandemic.

“When we say ‘tree poaching.’ it’s that unauthorized cutting of trees,” Sisters District Ranger Ian Reid said.  

One of the most recent victims was a more than 400-year-old tree that was felled near Forest Service Road 15. 

“Those take hundreds of years to replace. We won’t see those trees come back in our lifetime, kids or grandkids lifetime,” Reid said.

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Tree poaching causes several detrimental impacts the ripple through the forest, from destroying wildlife habitat to negatively affecting carbon sequestration — a process that decreases the amount of carbon dioxide in the air with the goal of reducing global climate change.

“There’s a variety of reasons why I think people do this. I think a part of it is for subsistence. People just need that warmth. But I think some of it is people who just have a disregard from what’s right and wrong, and it’s the same people you might see who poach wildlife,” Reid said.

Penalties vary depending on the severity of the poaching. They range from thousands of dollars in fines to jail time. If you do witness illegal tree cutting, you’re asked to call your nearest ranger station.

Firewood cutting season ended in Deschutes National Forest on Nov. 30, so it’s likely any woodcutting you may see is illegal unless if it’s through a logging operation or a hired contractor with a permit.

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