Tree poaching

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Witness
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Tree poaching

Post by Witness » Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:29 am

How Thousand-Year-Old Trees Became the New Ivory

Ancient trees are disappearing from protected national forests around the world. A look inside $100 billion market for stolen wood

[Long article, I'll extract this: ]

Two main factors have made timber so appealing in recent years. First, the pay-off: One massive old growth cedar can fetch close to $20,000. A report released in 2000 from the Canadian Forest Service’s Pacific Forestry Centre noted theft of Canada’s timber as a growing problem, costing B.C. $20 million annually. Red cedar is especially at risk, with thieves often specifically targeting its ‘high grade’ old growth. Even smaller parts of trees can be incredibly valuable: In 2014 there were 18 cases of thieves hacking out chunks of burl from 1000-year-old California redwoods.

Second, stealing trees is low-risk. In a globalized economy, timber is exceptionally easy for thieves to get their hands on, says Cameron Kamiya, Canada’s only full-time forest crime investigator. And the Carmanah is the perfect place to commit a crime: a remote rainforest sanctuary on the Canadian west coast, thick with damp air and spearmint canopies of moss. It is so vast and so sparingly visited that park wardens only patrol the area about four times a year.
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science- ... 180963365/