How to Avoid Timber Theft
For a direct link to state statutory language for timber theft, criminal and civil penalties, please click here: http://www.wvlegislature.gov/WVCODE/ChapterEntire.cfm?chap=61&art=3§ion=52#3
Many timber theft cases involve absentee landowners who are vulnerable because they aren’t around to protect their property. In these cases, the thief is often long gone by the time the crime is discovered. The West Virginia Division of Forestry’s Special Operations and Enforcement Unit takes this very seriously. If you have questions or concerns, contact us at 304-558-2788, option 9.
Here are several tips to avoid being a victim of timber theft:
- Have someone you know and trust immediately report any cutting or trespassing on your land.
- Mark all property lines to assure cutting on adjacent property does not encroach on yours.
- Have a Bill of Sale before any cutting begins and NEVER sign a contract without checking several references of the buyer.
- For the best price, insist on getting bids for your timber. Most importantly, if you do not know the timber business, find someone who does to help you determine volumes, current prices and potential bidders.
Use these resources below to help protect yourself from timber theft:Call Before You Cut Web Site
Association of Consulting Foresters
If you see any individual or company violating the aforementioned laws, please report it to WV Forestry immediately. Thank you for keeping our forests safe!