by Kira Weiner
Authorities in Northern California have closed a popular road at Redwood National and State Parks to protect its Redwood trees from poachers. Ranger Laura Denny said that the frequency and scale of Redwood poaching has recently increased due to drug addiction and unemployment.
“When I interview suspects, that is the [reason] they say: Their addiction to drugs, and they can’t find jobs.” Denny told the Associated Press in March.
Poachers often seek out the Redwoods Trees for the burls, the marbled growths of the trees. Burls are often so large and high up on the trunk that poachers often cut down the entire tree to access them. Even when the trees are not cut down, damaging the burl can potentially damage future forest growth because the burl is where the tree sprouts a clone before dying. Charges for burl poaching range from fines to prison times.