Thieves chopping into timber market in Tennessee
An uptick in home construction across the US is driving the price of timber upward and making forests full of trees enticing to thieves.
The Department of Agriculture has already dealt with timber crooks including in parts of East Tennessee where they chopping down oak, poplar, and hickory trees. The state says the damage goes far beyond a land owner’s pocketbook
State Forester David Arnold says environmental and habitat damage also occurs when these types of tree grabs take place and property owners should have their wooded acreage well-marked and check on it regularly.
The agency’s Agricultural Crime Unit investigates all cases which can lead to civil penalties that can be double or triple the cost of the timber stolen.
Lumber futures are currently trading at 60 percent above traditional levels on Wall Street and analysts say the home building will keep the price of timber up until the middle of 2022.