COLUMBUS — High prices for white oak and black walnut timber have created an increase in timber theft.
Tree theft in rural areas of Ohio should be of concern to residents and landowners.
Timber poachers often work in secluded areas not visible from residences. They remove the most valuable lower log section of the tree and leave upper sections and limbs.
Thieves use small equipment like small trailers and winches, or logging equipment like loaders and large trucks.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) offers these tips when illegal tree theft activity is suspected:
- Report suspicious activity to local law enforcement immediately.
- Do not personally confront anyone working a suspected timber theft operation;
- Leave contact information with neighbors, especially if you are an absentee woodland owner.
- Inspect your property regularly;
- Cable or gate access lanes and install locks;
- Mark boundaries with paint or signs to deter potential thieves; and
- Conduct a timber inventory and estimate the value of your timber.
When conducting a timber sale:
- Work with a professional forester to know what resources you own;
- Follow a management plan with defined outcomes;
- Use sustainable forestry practices;
- Solicit multiple bids;
- Research potential buyers or loggers;
- Require a bond; and
- Use a contract for harvesting work that includes best management practices to protect soil and water.
Resources are available at callB4Ucut.com/ohio or by calling 877-424-8288.
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