Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Filthy Riches Story Taken To Extremes

This May 21, 2013 photo provided by the National Park Service shows wildlife biologist Terry Hines standing next to a massive scar on an old growth redwood tree in the Redwood National and State Parks near Klamath, Calif., where poachers have cut off a burl to sell for decorative wood. The park recently took the unusual step of closing at night a 10-mile road through a section of the park to deter thieves. (AP Photo/Redwood National and State Parks, Laura Denn) Photo: Laura Denny, Associated Press
In the "reality" TV show, Filthy Riches" they had a guy who would chop off burels off a tree and get paid good money for it.
From the San Fran Chronicle:
A suspected redwood tree slasher and burl bandit was arrested after park officials tracked the wood poacher and an accomplice to a Del Norte County shop where they allegedly peddled the purloined lumber.
Danny Garcia, 43, of Orick (Humboldt County), was charged this week with felony grand theft, vandalism and receiving stolen property after the redwood burls he allegedly sold matched the large cuts found in a mutilated old growth tree in Redwood National and State Parks, in Humboldt County.
His co-conspirator, Larry Morrow, 34, also of Orick, was charged with the same crimes Wednesday, according to Jeff Denny, a Redwoods park ranger. Morrow was already being held in Humboldt County Jail on unrelated charges when he was booked on the burl banditry rap.
"We have successfully identified at least two individuals we feel are responsible for this crime," Denny said. However, "we are not under the impression that these are the only individuals involved in this kind of activity in the park."
Burl poaching, which involves cutting the valuable knobby growths at the base of redwood trees, is a growing problem in far northern California, where most of the state's existing old growth trees remain. The ancient growths are prized by woodworkers because of their intricate ring patterns and are often used to make tables, furniture, knife handles, trinkets and other lumber products.
Depending on the size and quantity, a wood burl can be sold for anywhere from $200 to $2,000, said Denny. The money is a strong lure in rural areas where lumber mills have recently closed down, jobs are scarce and drug addiction is a growing problem. The remote areas of the Redwood National and State Parks have been a particular draw for poachers riding ATVs and carrying chain saws. The 133,000-acre park contains almost 40 percent of the world's remaining old growth redwoods.
And take a look at the above picture and I hope you agree these guys need to go to jail for a long time.

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