Tree poaching on the rise

  Timber prices are now so high that renegade loggers in northern Idaho have been stealing trees from national forests. Recently, 15 people were arrested for 35 timber thefts that occurred last year on the Priest Lake District of the Idaho Panhandle National Forest. Don Hacker, 42, of Priest River, Idaho, was fined $600 and ordered to pay $700 in restitution after twice being convicted of timber theft. Incidents of theft have increased since timber such as lodgepole pine, which the industry once considered almost worthless, increased in value from $25 per 1,000 board-feet to more than $400, reports the Spokane Spokesman-Review in Washington.

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