Redwoods in Stout Grove

Redwood burl poaching ... man faces charges


The photo is from Redwood National and State Parks, showing damage to an old growth Coast Redwood, by a burl poacher. A ranger standing denotes size of the cuts. If anyone spots a public record image of the man facing charges in this case, let me know so I can include it. Thank you.

Scroll past photo to read the Press Release ... a man Danny Garcia of Orick, CA, is appearing in court to face charges.

Fusion Giant Caost Redwood, aka Melkor or Melcor, in Redwood National Park.

The following is part of a press release from the Redwood National and State Parks

May, 2014

National Park Service and California State Parks Law Enforcement Park Rangers and Investigators working cooperatively have concluded a year-long investigation leading to the arrest and charges of felony Grand Theft (CA PC 487(a)), Vandalism (CA PC 594(a)), and Receiving Stolen Property (CA PC 496(a)) against Danny E. Garcia of Orick, California for the poaching of old growth redwood burls from the park.

Charges are pending against another individual who is currently serving time for unassociated charges. On April 19, 2013, a researcher in the park discovered cuts on an old growth redwood tree within Redwood National and State Parks (RNSP) in the Redwood Creek drainage. Park rangers responded and discovered a 10-foot diameter, old-growth redwood tree that had been badly damaged by the removal of several large burls. The burls cut from the tree were massive, the largest cut measuring approximately 8.3 feet at the base, 8.2 feet in height, and 1.7 feet deep (approximately 115 cubic feet). An anonymous tip led to the discovery of the burls at a local shop.

Park Rangers matched the size and shape of the cut burls in the shop with those taken from the old-growth redwood tree at the poaching site. Investigation by NPS Law Enforcement Rangers indicated that Garcia had been in possession of the burls taken from the site, and then sold them to the shop in Del Norte County. The burl shop is not currently under investigation in this matter. The case is being prosecuted in California District Court in Eureka, California.

Redwood National and State Parks contains 133,000 acres of federal and state land in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, California. Nearly 39% of the remaining old-growth redwood forest in the world is found within RNSP. The parks have experienced an increase in the illegal cutting and theft of old-growth coast redwood burls in recent years. Burl poaching involves the cutting of burls from both live and dead trees, felling of living old-growth redwood trees to access burls from higher up the stem, and the cutting of down logs for ornamental furniture, veneer, and souvenirs ... (snip) ...Park law enforcement rangers are currently conducting several investigations in Humboldt County and Del Norte County regarding theft and damage to redwood trees inside RNSP. Anyone with information regarding the theft of redwood burl or wood from RNSP may call the park’s Law Enforcement Tip Line at 707-465-7353

Update June 2014

Both poachers were sentenced. Here are excerpts from a Times Standard article:

"Orick resident Danny E. Garcia was sentenced Wednesday to 700 hours of community service and ordered to pay just over $11,000 in restitution for hacking redwood burls off trees in the Redwood National and State Parks last year. Garcia also received a suspended sentence of one year in jail, four years probation — with a credit of 170 days served — and he must not own or possess a firearm for yelling at customers and telling them he was going to kill them at an Orick cafe in January 2012. Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Joyce Hinrichs said the intent of the sentence was to change Garcia's history of getting by after making offenses ... "

" ... Larry Morrow, a second suspect in the case, pleaded guilty to felony vandalism at a May 27 hearing and received a suspended sentence with three years probation with conditions of obeying all the laws and paying $1,600 in victim restitution, according to court documents. Morrow remains in custody at the Humboldt County jail and is scheduled be released on July 11, according to the jail. Both Morrow and Garcia are required to stay out of Redwood National and State Parks, according to court documents ... "

" ... Three organizations — the Center for Biological Diversity, Redwood Parks Association and Save the Redwoods League — are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the prosecution of burl poachers. Redwood Parks Association Executive Director Cathy Bosner can be contacted at 464-9150 for information about the reward. Denny said anyone with information on redwood burl poaching can contact the park crime tip line at 465-7353 ... "