Truckee man cited for illegally cutting 100-year-old trees
The U.S. Forest Service cited a Truckee man Tuesday for allegedly cutting down about 20 pine trees near Stampede Reservoir.
Some of the Jeffrey pines were large, mature trees over 100 years old and healthy, according to the Forest Service. Forest Service officials said the man claimed he cut the trees for firewood.
“We always have issues with this sort of thing, but personally I’ve never seen this kind of illegal firewood cutting before,” said Scott Conway, vegetation management officer for the Truckee ranger district.
The man allegedly camped illegally in a location where camping is prohibited, had an illegal campfire, and left trash at the campsite, according to a Forest Service press release.
Because the investigation is ongoing, Conway said he couldn’t comment on the man’s identity, or the potential penalties for cutting the trees.
Once the investigation is complete, Conway said crews will block off vehicle access to the area, put in erosion control, and remove the felled trees.
“I would like to put new seedlings this year, but probably won’t be able to until next year,” Conway said.
The Forest Service will likely replace the trees with between 20 and 30 new trees, he said.
Conway said the incident will cost the Forest Service thousands of dollars.
Forest Service personnel come across illegal cutting, dumping, and burning regularly, Conway said.
“On the way back from this we came across a torched trailer under a tree and torn-up land where somebody went mudding,” he said. “There are not enough people to patrol the national forest and a lot of people doing what they know they shouldn’t do.”
People will be able to start taking firewood from the national forest May 15 by permit, which allows removal of dead or fallen wood only.