Public's help sought in stopping Christmas tree theft from state lands
Officials with the state's Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are asking the public's help during the Christmas season in catching thieves who steal "Christmas trees" from Washington's 2.1 million acres of state forests.
Trees on state land are grown for their timber, which is sold to support many beneficiaries.
Stolen trees represent money taken from school children, universities, communities in many counties, state prisons, and charitable institutions, as well as the state general fund.
People searching for a Christmas tree should buy one from a tree farm or vendor, or obtain a permit from an agency that offers permits.
Tree and bough cutters must have the landowner's permission to remove trees from forest land, and are responsible for knowing whose land they're on.
DNR is authorized to pay rewards of up to $10,000 for information leading to the conviction of those involved in theft or destruction of resources on state land. The size of the reward varies according to the amount of damage.
To report theft or damage to state forest lands, please notify the local sheriff's office, or call DNR toll-free at 1-800- 527-3305 during business hours.