Jefferson: Wood poaching harms Chimacum Creek salmon habitat

CHIMACUM — Poachers butchered two maple trees, destroying hundreds of square feet of forest canopy and affecting salmon spawning habitat on Chimacum Creek this month, North Olympic Salmon Coalition members said.

A coalition survey crew spotted two poached trees on Sept. 9 while conducting field work on a portion of the creek.

Large sections of the trees were left on the ground with select knots and burls removed, suggesting the harvest was of specialty wood, crew members said.

Timber-cutting is prohibited and on other sites owned by the Department of Fish and Wildlife, but poaching incidents are on the rise, state officials said.

“It has been a problem on many of our properties since the price of ‘music wood’ has gone up in the past couple of years,” said Dan Brinson, Fish and Wildlife enforcement captain for Region 6, which includes the Olympic Peninsula.

Maple trees in particular are a specialty wood, often used to build instruments, Brinson said.

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