SACRAMENTO, CA -- Redwood burl poaching could become an automatic felony in California if a new bill introduced by northern California lawmakers becomes law.
Introduced by California State Senator Mike McGuire and 2nd District Assemblyman Jim Wood, the bill would classify redwood burl poaching as a felony punishable by jail time and a large fine, according to the Eureka Times-Standard. Currently, poachers are charged with misdemeanors that only rise to the level of a felony depending on the value of the wood.
Since 2010 the National Park Service and the California State Parks have been dealing with vandalism of old-growth redwood. Drug addicts and petty criminal were initially suspected of being behind the redwood poaching.
Last year Danny E. Garcia of Orick, CA, was arrested, charged and convicted of felony grand theft, vandalism and receiving stolen property for hacking off the prized burls of a 10-foot, old growth redwood and selling them a local furniture shop.
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