DARRINGTON, Wash. (KOMO) - It’s an illegal move that stunned park rangers and residents in Snohomish County. A nearly 100-year-old cedar tree on county parkland has been hit by a poacher.
“It was one the most devastating things for us to be out here doing our job and to realized that someone has taken advantage of our natural resources,” said Emily Massingale, a ranger for Snohomish County Parks and Recreation.
On Monday, Massingale found a towering cedar tree hanging 30 feet above the campground road, inside in Squire Creek Park near Darrington. The poacher who tried to cut the tree down didn’t make a large enough back cut and the tree hung on its own stump.
“So as you can see by the outer rings of the tree, it was just getting to the healthiest growth of its life and then it got cut down,” she said.
She said the vibrant cedar tree, now chopped into pieces, was 96-years-old.
“This tree was going to keep growing for another 100 years or more,” said Massingale.
Rangers said cedar is a hot item to sell. The tree includes about 600 board feet of the pricey wood.
“Knowing the high dollar amount for sale on a cedar that makes me think they were going to try and resale it,” she said.
Rangers believe an unskilled lumberjack is responsible for illegally cutting the tree down – a crime they are seeking justice for, which could include jail time and thousands of dollars in fines.
“This was not someone’s tree to sell,” said Massingale. “It belongs to the park and it was a protected tree and it was sad to see it come down.”
Rangers said they will re-purpose the cedar so it does not go to waste.
If you have any information on this crime, you're asked to contact the Snohomish County Park and Recreation Department.