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Assessing and Understanding Timber Trespass and Theft Laws in the Appalachian Region

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Many forest landowners in the Appalachian region are at risk from timber theft and trespass. State laws within this region provide a confusing assortment of civil and criminal remedies to address such infractions. These heterogeneous laws address timber theft in varying specificity and intensity. A range of interpretations by courts have further impacted the meaning and effectiveness of existing laws. Few current civil and criminal remedies appear to provide sufficient protections for private forest landowners, and review and revision of existing statutory structures is warranted. Specific areas of focus should include statutes of limitation, the issue of trespasser intent, and the method for ascertaining the landowners' damages.

Keywords: Tree; crime; forest; property; remedy; timber; trespass

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: Department of Forestry Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksburg VA 24061

Publication date: June 1, 2005

More about this publication?
  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Northern Journal of Applied Forestry covers northeastern, midwestern, and boreal forests in the United States and Canada.
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