They’re ruining the Redwoods for a thousand bucks

Stop the thiefs who destroying our redwoods.

Stop the thiefs who destroying our redwoods. (Photo from U.S. Forest Service)

Redwoods are dying at the hands of tweakers for a couple thousand bucks.

My “Damn!” made Ellie B, aka Dogamous Pyle, jump at the story that closed the NBC nightly news two weeks ago, words and pictures that put a furrow in the brow of host Brian Williams as he related this ugly story.

Williams said somebody is hacking into the Giant Redwoods of California with chainsaws, cutting out the burled sections, which are fancied for their intricate grain patterns.

Those are being sold for thousands of dollars, Williams said.

Some of the poachers are said to be meth addicts.

One tree is dead and many others have been permanently harmed.

An online report a whole year earlier quoted the U.S. Forest Service as saying one entire tree was cut down for its burl, a 300-year-old Giant Redwood in a forest where the trees are expected to live 2,000 years. The report said the burl the poachers then cut out was 50 feet above the ground.

In acres of forest, these stinking thieves have plenty of natural cover.

Without a doubt, forest rangers will have their eyes and ears on high alert.

Hopefully citizens will report anybody carving into the Giant Redwoods, too.

What jackasses.

This is like cracking off the Statue of Liberty’s arm one night to sell it for scrap metal.

Redwood damage is inspected. (From NBC News)

Redwood damage is inspected. (From NBC News)

Maybe the U.S. Forest Service should put up posters around the Giant Redwoods that warn:

“Anybody caught carving into the Giant Redwoods will have a section of their mid-section flesh carved out in the ranger station, to be sold to art lovers who appreciate yellow bellies.”

Here’s the site for the photo at top right and report from the U.S. Forest Service.

Here’s the site for the photo immediately above and text of Williams’ news story on May 7.

What do you think is a suitable penalty for carving up the Giant Redwoods? What would you say if you saw somebody selling or buying a redwood burl? Have you ever had the pleasure of visiting the redwood forest?


61 thoughts on “They’re ruining the Redwoods for a thousand bucks

  1. Awful. When Michelle and I were in northern California in March, we walked through Muir Woods, a national park with magnificent redwoods. They really are breathtaking. It’s unconscionable that anyone would do that, drug addiction or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I used to do inlay wood pics with wood veneers. But there is so much made made materials (like kitchen cabinet Formica) out there with such high quality natural looking appeal, this is not necessary at all.


  3. Thats terrible! I love trees. I have never seen a redwood but just the fact that they can live 2000 years gives me the shivers. We should have more respect. But pardon my ignorance…what is the burl you said they were cutting out of them? Sounds to me like taking the heart from a living creature…


  4. Tweakers suck! They have absolutely NO conscience, and I’ve seen it close up. I’ve not seen the redwoods yet but plan to travel that way next year. You don’t want to know what fate I think tweakers and the monsters who supply their drugs should suffer 😦


  5. What next Mark? We had problems with poachers when I was on the farm. There was a beautiful stand of black walnut trees where I would gather the nuts every year for my coming year’s baking. One October I went to the area and every tree there was gone. Someone had come in and stolen all of the trees, probably to sell for furniture. Black walnut is a beautiful wood for furniture, very expensive since it is extremely rare now. It’s totally different from the more popular English Walnut that most people are accustomed to, the nuts have a different taste, and the wood has a richer, deeper color. They are becoming extinct now, due to people like the one who stole our trees. We knew who did it, but he has to live with what he did, not us, so we chose to just let it go. Of course, we did let him know we were aware of the theft, but chose to let him live the rest of his life with his guilt on his conscience, or lack thereof.


  6. this makes me very sad to read. i have never been to visit the redwoods but it is on my must do list of places. these are irreplaceable and our children and grands will never have a chance to experience them in the same way, once they are harmed. perhaps, those who harm them, addicts or not, should be made to work in the forests, helping to restore and preserve them, away from what brings them to commit these heinous acts of thoughtless selfishness.


  7. Sigh. For sure the thieves’ actions are unconscionable and without a doubt should be met with jail terms, community service, fines, etc. I’m not sure asking what the appropriate punishment should be, is the right question. You see the US already has more people incarcerated per capita than most countries in the world. And that number grows daily. When investigators want to stop certain illegal activities – such as drug smuggling, murder, state secrets theft, etc – it is necessary to stop the root cause. If someone is hiring assassins to kill, stopping the assassins is only the first step – to stop the activity it is necessary to identify and stop the root cause, the person hiring the assassins. That being said, the only way to stop the destruction of the trees is to stop those who are buying the furniture, etc being made from the burls. They are the ones putting a money value on the burls. We all know that won’t happen because it is the rich and the privileged who are creating the demand for the burls to add to their furniture or wood paneled dashboard collections. Throw in the fact that most everything has now been assigned a dollar value and a situation swirls into existence where illegal and destructive activity is ultimately perpetuated by those who desire the accumulation of money and it’s avails. Incarcerating people is necessary to address the activity with the individual who actualized the activity, but the activity will continue to happen as long as the root cause continues to exist.


    • Yes, I understand your point about the penal system. I was asking that question as much to find out what was on the minds of the just-acting people as to actually gauge possible punitive actions. And now I know how you feel. Thank you, Paul, for your intelligent contribution.


  8. I hate when stupid people do inexcusable things. It’s really unsettling to know that some folks feel entitled to do whatever they wish. It’s sad. I’ve never been to see the redwoods but I’ve always wanted to go. Hopefully the forest rangers will be able to apprehend the tree killers.


  9. I haven’t visited the Redwoods yet Mark. But Husband and I have often talked of it. I can’t think of anything fitting for those who are caught doing this. Destroying something that takes hundreds, thousands of years for the earth to create. And who the hell are idiots buying it KNOWING how it is obtained?


      • I can’t fathom the greed of some people. Even though it was mentioned that it could be meth users doing this to make money. It could also be the greed of someone “wanting” the burls and actively pursuing getting them by recruiting thieves to go get them. Sickening indeed.


  10. First of all, I admire our fellow love for the word “jackass”. Nothing like it. Second, I feel sick to my stomach. Meth addict or not, the consequences for this should be severe–and should include having to help improve the environment they’re wrecking.


    • Yes, Kay, the jackasses need to be caught, stopped, and severely punished. Environmental cleanup, planting … That is a good direction to go in. I like your way of thinking.


  11. This would have made me swear, too, Mark! I cannot believe the selfishness and thoughtlessness of those who would cut into the majestic redwoods! I am appalled at the ones who would buy the slices or pieces! Definitely the buyers are not going to be meth or drug addicts! They should know better!
    I have been to see the petrified forest in the West but never the redwoods. I tell people I have been everywhere on the East side of the Grand Canyon. I loved the sight of the Canyon, but wish to go on the other side, someday… to California, Washington and Oregon! (Oh, Hawaii, too!)
    I would say punishment should be a very high fine and having to clean latrines across America with ankle bracelets that would ‘shock’ them if they did not carry out their tasks. I don t think they belong in jail where they could sit around and watch t.v.! No sir!


  12. WHAT?! That’s awful! What pieces of $h*t those jerks are! (sorry for the rant.) They need to serve some time (couple of years at least) as well as a LARGE fine (like $10,000+) and a LARGE (like 5,000+) amount of mandatory community service hours! No, I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing them yet and hope it won’t be too late by the time I get there. As a side note, however, when I first saw your post headline, I thought it might be related to the giant pine growers in your back yard! 😉


  13. 1) Oliva and I just watched the Lorax. 😉
    2) I’ve been to Muir woods and Big Basin. We took pictures and they don’t come close to capturing their majestic beauty. Horrible to think of these gifts being harvested for kicks.
    3) embarrassed that it took my east coast pal to inform me of this disgusting development taking place for sometime in my own backyard.
    4) add abc nightly news affiliate corespondent to your tag line Beels. Xoxo


  14. Pingback: We Owe | silentlyheardonce

    • I was stretching with that poster warning. The mere threat made me feel better. It is awful, though, what these cads are doing to a natural treasure. Thank you, Chris the Environmentallist.


  15. This truly hurts my heart. These trees are an important part of my history, and childhood… my own daughter is there now, getting to know that history. But, it’s the bigger picture… the harm this does to us all, that is most upsetting. This is truly disgusting.


  16. Disturbing news, Mark. Dave and I saw the giant Redwoods when we visited California years ago. Impressive.

    The Amazon is another area where developers feel they should have free reign over the environment. I hope they can all be stopped.


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