PORT HADLOCK — Jefferson County officials and volunteers have found trees illegally cut and taken from Indian Island County Park in Port Hadlock and are searching for the tree thieves.
“By the looks of it, it’s just one person or a small group of people taking Douglas fir and madrone for firewood,” Matt Tyler, Jefferson County Parks and Recreation manager, said in a news release.
The park is maintained primarily by volunteers, who were the ones who first noticed the cut trees.
Volunteers have seen tree stumps and occasionally trees that were cut and just left around the park for over two weeks, Tyler said.
“Cutting down trees in Jefferson County parks for firewood is illegal and wrong,” Tyler said.
“We need help to get this to stop once and for all.”
Indian Island County Park is located on state Highway 116 near the mouth of the Portage Canal at the south end of Port Townsend Bay.
The 140-acre park encompasses the entire southern end of Indian Island including the beaches, which provide access for clamming, and the forests trails. It also contains a small picnic shelter and outhouse.
“The forest is in good condition and should be protected from this kind of thoughtless and wasteful destruction,” Tyler said.
Permits are needed for any kind of timber harvesting. Permits for harvesting on private land can be obtained through the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. Applicants must bring state-issued identification and a map of the parcel that will be harvested.
Permits for harvesting on state land can be obtained through the state Department of Natural Resources website at www.dnr.wa.gov.
Information regarding tree thefts can be reported to Tyler at 360-385-9129 or to the sheriff’s office at 360-385-3831.
Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at email@example.com.