Timber Thieves Could Face Stiffer Penalities

Feb 20, 2017

Credit Forestry.Ky.Gov

Kentucky lawmakers are considering ways to reduce timber thefts. 

Much of the committee testimony on the senate bill involved loggers who cross property boundaries during their harvesting. 

 The bill allows for triple damages compared to the value of the illegally taken down timber. Henry Crist, president of Dunaway Timber Company in west Kentucky, said such activity can cause a black eye for the industry. 

"It’s not a huge situation in terms of the percentage of timber being cut across the state, but when it comes up, it’s very visible.”

Crist said such illegal logging can make it difficult for a saw mill operation like his to go to adjoining land owners to seek permission to harvest trees.  The bill is now before house members for their consideration.

Bob Baurer, of the Kentucky Forest Industries Association, said  “a lot of time those issues are settled among the land owners outside of court.  This bill sort of keeps that sort of in check. We concerned about the guy that just blatantly steals too. You know, we don’t want to give him any opening to do that.”