Hearing in tree-poaching case reset for Tuesday
Peninsula Daily News
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Johnston, 41, was scheduled to appear in federal court Thursday, but that hearing was stricken because Judge Robert J. Bryan was presiding over another matter in Alaska.
The Tuesday hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. in Tacoma.
Johnston received a one-year prison sentence in December after pleading guilty to depredation of government property.
He was charged with taking 102 fir, cedar and maple trees in the Rocky Brook area of the Dosewallips drainage between May 2009 and January 2010.
Bryan will determine the amount of money Johnston must pay to make up for the timber he stole, said Emily Langlie, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Diggs and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth Wilkinson wrote in a prehearing memorandum that the ecological value of the trees Johnston destroyed is $242,375.
Since restitution was limited to a maximum of $120,000 under the plea agreement, the government is seeking $120,000.
Among the trees Johnston fell was a giant Douglas fir with an 8-foot diameter that was more than 300 years old.
Old-growth trees like those Johnson cut are considered critical habitat for the northern spotted owl and the marbled murrelet, both federally listed as threatened species.
The wood was cut into blocks and sold for the production of such musical instruments as guitars and cellos, a U.S. attorney’s spokeswoman said.
Last modified: March 09. 2013 5:17PM