Still stealing trees

  Since the U.S. Forest Service disbanded its special timber-theft task force nearly a year ago, investigations of large-scale timber theft have ground to a halt. That's the conclusion of Unindicted Co-Conspirator, a report by the nonprofit Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) and the Governmental Accountability Project (GAP), a Washington, D.C.-based group that protects government whistle-blowers. The PEER/GAP report helped put timber theft back on the media's radar screen. The Los Angeles Times subsequently printed a front-page story on one stalled investigation profiled in the report, the "Rodeo" case. It alleged that Weyerhaeuser Co. stole millions of dollars' worth of timber - some 32,000 healthy green trees a month - from four national forests in California and Oregon over five years. After Forest Service Chief Jack Ward Thomas abolished the task force, the case sat in a locked storage unit for 10 months. Says Jeff DeBonis, executive director of PEER, "His actions seem calculated to ensure that the investigation was never completed." Weyerhaeuser officials responded to the Times article by launching an internal investigation of the allegations. DeBonis adds that a March audit by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Inspector General - obtained by PEER through a Freedom of Information Act request - concludes that the agency lacks an adequate theft prevention program.


For a copy of the report, send $5 to PEER, 2001 S. Street N.W., Suite 570, Washington, DC 20009-1125 (202/265-PEER).


High Country News Classifieds
  • COPPER STAIN: ASARCO'S LEGACY IN EL PASO
    Tales from scores of ex-employees unearth the human costs of an economy that runs on copper.
  • FEATURES DIRECTOR - HIGH COUNTRY NEWS
    High Country News, an award-winning news organization covering the communities and environment of the Western United States, seeks a Features Director to join our editorial...
  • GENERAL MANAGER
    The Board of UYWCD seeks a new GM to manage operations & to implement our robust strategic plan. Details at www.upperyampawater.com. EOE
  • IN TUCSON, FOR SALE: A BEAUTIFUL, CLASSIC MID-CENTURY MODERN HOME
    designed by architect David Swanson in 1966. Located a block from Saguaro National Forest, yet minutes to Downtown and the UofA campus, 3706 sqft, 6...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Friends of the San Juans is seeking a new leader guide our efforts to protect and restore the San Juan Islands and the Salish...
  • 80 ACRES
    straddles North Platte Fishery, Wyoming. Legal access 2 miles off 1-80. Call 720-440-7633.
  • DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT AND MARKETING
    High Country News seeks a Director of Product and Marketing to join our senior team during an exciting chapter of innovation and growth. This individual...
  • IMPROVED LOT
    Private road, hillside, views. Well, pad, septic, 99 sq.ft. hut. Dryland permaculture orchard. Wildlife. San Diego--long growing season
  • UNIQUE INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY
    Profitable off-the-grid business located 2 miles from Glacier National Park. Owner has 6 years operating experience. Seeking investor or partner for business expansion and enhancement....
  • REMOTE SITKA ALASKA FLOAT HOUSE VACATION RENTAL
    Vacation rental located in calm protected waters 8 miles from Sitka, AK via boat with opportunities to fish and view wildlife. Skiff rental also available.
  • EXPERT LAND STEWART
    Available for site conservator, property manager. View resume at http://skills.ojadigital.net.
  • CONSERVATIONIST? IRRIGABLE LAND?
    Stellar seed-saving NGO is available to serious partner. Package must include financial support. Details: http://seeds.ojaidigital.net.
  • CANYONLANDS FIELD INSTITUTE
    Colorado Plateau Natural & Human History Field Seminars. Lodge, river, hiking options. Small groups, guest experts.
  • WESTERN NATIVE SEED
    Specializing in native seeds and seed mixes for western states.
  • CHUCK BURR'S CULTUREQUAKE.COM BLOG
    Change will happen when we see a new way of living. Thinking to save the world.
  • COMING TO TUCSON?
    Popular vacation house, furnished, 2 bed/1 bath, yard, dog-friendly. Lee at [email protected] or 520-791-9246.
  • OJO CALIENTE COMMERCIAL VENTURE
    Outstanding location near the world famous Ojo Caliente Mineral Spring Resort. Classic adobe Mercantile complete w/living quarters, separate 6 unit B&B, metal building and spacious...