Timber Security Services
Millions of dollars of timber are stolen every year across the United States, some very covertly and some in broad daylight. Generations of forest management work can be destroyed and the residual woodlot or forest can suffer extensive damage from timber theft. The high value of some of the hardwood species of the Eastern US is enticing to some criminal minds, as some single trees can be worth in excess of $1,000 each. This valuable asset deserves the same care and protection that any other asset of value receives.
FORECON’s Forestry Management services include steps to reduce the problem of timber theft by working to prevent it in the first place. Assuring that property boundary lines are accurate and easily identifiable is a good start. Occasional patrolling is helpful as well, as unvisited properties are prime pickings for timber thieves. Good relationships and communications with neighbors could be tremendous helps as well, as these relationships could result in a beneficial “neighborhood watch” type of arrangement. Property managers should be aware of logging operations on neighboring properties, and during such times should inspections of boundaries should be frequent to ensure there is no encroachment onto the investment property.
Timber theft opportunities are sometimes heightened by certain circumstances, the primary one occurring at the time of a timber sale. Access is usually open and evident, allowing ideal circumstances for the unscrupulous to take advantage of the situation. Having an independent forestry representative perform periodic inspections helps curtail theft, and on occasion, having a covert program established to secretly monitor logging operations and after-hours activities can be well-worth the investment, especially when the harvesting involves very valuable hardwood timber.
FORECON, Inc. can provide professional timber security services, which include:
• Electronic Surveillance:
Utilizing long lasting battery-operated “ruggedized” cameras covertly placed near the entrances and exits of the logging operation. The video files can be reviewed and abnormal activities (unexpected traffic, different trucks, etc.) can be detected and in-depth analysis can be done for follow-up purposes.
• On-Site Physical Surveillance:
Following trucks loaded with timber from the loading zone to the final destination of the raw logs, ensuring loads are not being delivered to any other place other than the intended location.
• Miscellaneous Wood Security:
Where custom surveillance services can be tailored to your situation.
• Timber Theft Prevention Plan:
Where FORECON professionals can assess your boundary lines and your woodlot, and consult with you on activities and actions to take to prevent as best as possible the theft of timber from your land.
Nothing is fool-proof, however, and from time-to-time, even under the most diligent approaches to prevent theft, timber is still stolen. If you happen onto a theft in progress, immediately contact your consulting forester, county sheriff and your state’s Division of Environmental Law Enforcement. Do NOT confront the person that you feel may be doing something illegally. Chances are you won’t experience timber theft on your ownership, but it never hurts to do what you can to prevent it.