Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Centuries-old juniper tree stolen from Badlands Wilderness

BEND, Ore. - Federal officials say whoever cut down and hauled off a large old-growth juniper tree at a popular wilderness trailhead east of Bend may have committed a federal crime, and they are seeking tips to find the culprit. The tree was taken earlier this month from the Flatiron Rock Trailhead in the 30,000-acre Badlands Wilderness Area, about 16 miles east of Bend off U.S. Highway 20. So far, Bureau of Land Management officials have not turned up any leads as to who took the tree. BLM spokeswoman Lisa Clark said the tree was still standing the evening of Dec. 4, but was gone the next day. Someone apparently backed a truck up to the tree, cut it down and hauled it away, leaving the stump, Clark said...more

Let's see, driving a vehicle is a violation of the Wilderness Act.  Clearly, that tree wasn't cut with an axe, and using a power saw is a violation of the Wilderness Act.

Wow, somebody either a) wanted to enjoy their wilderness experience at home, b) wanted a 150-year old Christmas tree, or c) wanted a huge and historic fire going in the fireplace when ole Santa showed up.

Besides, does that look like a Wilderness Area to you?  Appears as pretty plain old country to me.  Now that the "imprint of man" is definitely there, someone should introduce legislation to de-designate an area which shouldn't have been designated as Wilderness in the first place.  The purpose would be to correct the Bad Mistake Bisti Badlands Act.

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