Tree poaching: BC writers uncover its complicated history

The problem of tree poaching may be a familiar story to people in British Columbia but, as writer Lyndsie Bourgon explores in her new book, the reasons why some people choose to steal old trees are complex. than she initially thought.

Speaking to CTV’s Your Morning on Thursday, Bourgon, author of “Tree Thieves: Crime and Survival in the North American Woods,” said BC’s black market timber market costs an estimated $20 million. la every year.

In the United States, tree poaching can be worth up to $100 million annually and up to $1 billion across North America.

Bourgon, who lives in BC and Scotland, said: “It looks a little bit different depending on the species taken, but it’s basically just chopping down a tree.

During research for her book, National Geographic Explorer 2018 – individuals whose work is supported by the National Geographic Society – spoke with the poachers themselves, as well as law enforcement. legislation, residents of former logging towns and others to gain a broader understanding of why people enter the market illegally.

She found that the problem was more systemic than she realized, with some former logging communities in the Pacific Northwest being a factor.

“As I started researching the book and doing interviews in some of the towns where poaching was really common, a lot of people started telling me about how towns don’t have a lot of jobs. “, she said.

“There are a lot of people from these areas who don’t want to move and they feel very comfortable doing logging work, and poaching trees is one way to keep it going,” she said.

See the full interview with Lyndsie Bourgon at the top of the article. With files from CTV News.

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