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Poaching redwood burl in California’s national and state parks!

Serial 000003560

Thieves with chainsaws are cutting big chunks out of California’s redwood trees, which are the tallest trees on earth and are up to 2,000 years old!

According to CNN:

Under the cloak of darkness, bandits are poaching the burl from the old-growth redwoods in Redwood National and State Parks in California, and that lumpy feature from the tree base is then sold for thousands of dollars to make furniture, bowls and even souvenirs, officials say.

“We’ve seen a peaked increase (of theft and damage),” says Candace Tinkler, chief of interpretation and education at the park. “Unfortunately I feel that it’s more than we can keep track of.”

When a burl is cut, a lot of bark is either removed or damaged, leaving the tree more exposed to insect infestation and and fire.

CNN continues:

The California Department of Parks and Recreation said smaller pieces of poached burl can sell for hundreds of dollars, and the larger chunks can fetch thousands. Taking the burls from a state park is a crime, and their size determines whether the crime is a misdemeanor or felony, the Humboldt County district attorney’s office said.

The Redwood National and State Parks comprises 133,000 acres of forest, coastlines, prairies, rivers and streams. Approximately 40,000 acres are old-growth forest and are a big draw for international visitors who consider a drive through the park a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

At night and during inclement weather, when the chance for discovery is reduced, thieves with chainsaws cut the burl. To help combat the theft, rangers have closed an eight-mile road through the Redwood National and State Parks.

-Bill at

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