During the holiday season, Forest Patrol deputies watch for people heading into the Willamette National Forest looking for the perfect tree and without the proper permits.
Forest Patrol Deputies from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office will be in the area working with law enforcement from the U.S. Forest Service to not only keep people safe, but to be on the lookout for those involved in the theft of Special Forest Products.
On Tuesday, Forest Patrol Deputies stopped two Washington County men in a vehicle which was carrying approximately 3800 pounds of fir boughs on Highway 22 near Stayton.
During the traffic stop deputies learned the fir boughs had been unlawfully taken from the Willamette National Forest and were intended to be used commercially for creating holiday decorations.
42-year-old Jose Lucas Lucas, and 31-year-old Juan Lucas Perez were both charged with the Unlawful Cutting and Transport of Special Forest Products and seized the boughs.
The illegal harvest and sales of Special Forest Products in Oregon is a continuing concern as we work to preserve the natural beauty of our outdoor recreational areas. A few examples of Special Forest Products include; Christmas trees and boughs, cones, bear grass, salal and firewood. Illegally harvested forest products are commonly used commercially in the creation of decorations, floral displays or shipped overseas. Thefts of these products are not just limited to U.S. Forest Service land, but also directly impact lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Oregon Department of Forestry and private timber lands.