Illegal logging suspected in Rock County

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Frank Schultz
Monday, April 28, 2014

TOWN OF MAGNOLIA—A landowner who recently caught loggers cutting trees on his land suspects someone might be taking trees from other properties without permission, according to the Rock County Sheriff's Office.

The landowner on April 16 came upon loggers who had cut oak and walnut trees and asked the loggers what they were doing, according to a news release.

The loggers said they had made a mistake and were cutting trees for a neighbor, but the landowner suspected that response was a lie to cover theft of trees.

The landowner later talked to a nearby landowner who had a similar experience, said Capt. Jude Maurer of the sheriff's office, so it's possible this had happened on other parcels of land, and the landowners didn't know about it.

 “Market price for felled trees used in the lumber industry is apparently high, which may explain why surreptitious logging activity is reportedly occurring,” the news release states.

Much remains to be investigated, Maurer said, but in the meantime, the sheriff's office wants to publicize the fact that state law requires loggers to file a form with the county clerk's office.

The filing costs nothing, but it informs the municipality, landowner, state DNR and also the county treasurer's office, in case taxes are owed on the property.

The forms are good for the calendar year. No forms have been filed for logging in the town of Magnolia this year, according to the clerk's office.

Anyone with information about illegal tree harvesting can contact the Rock County Sheriff's Office. Call the Rock County Communications Center at 608-757-2244.

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