Potlatch Corp. Voluntarily Modifies Surveying Policy, Pays Civil Restitution to Resolve Timber Trespass Investigation
COEUR D'ALENE – U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson and Potlatch Corporation (“Potlatch”) announced today that Potlatch voluntarily modified its surveying policy and procedure when conducting forest management activities adjacent to U.S. National Forests throughout Idaho. Potlatch agreed to pay civil restitution of $19,320.00 to resolve pending timber trespass investigations.
These actions conclude an investigation for depredation of government property and removal or cutting of timber on lands of the United States under 18 U.S.C. §§ 1361, 1852, and 1853. The alleged liability stemmed from the company's removal of timber from U.S. National Forest Service lands near USFS Road 226, located on the Idaho Panhandle National Forest, in 2008; and construction of an access point off of USFS Road 377G, located on the Clearwater National Forest, in 2010. Both incidents involved the removal of trees on lands administered by the U.S. Forest Service adjacent to property owned by Potlatch.
Potlatch responded to the incidents by voluntarily developing and implementing a new adjacent landowner policy and procedure. Under the policy, logging operations may not be conducted in Idaho without verifying that a recorded survey has been performed to mark boundary lines with adjacent lands, or entering a legally binding boundary line agreement under which the adjacent landowner specifically agrees to use an alternate method for marking the boundary.
U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson praised Potlatch for voluntarily implementing a more rigorous boundary line policy. “Requiring a recorded survey to mark boundaries before logging on property adjacent to lands of the United States is the right thing to do,” said Olson. “Companies that rely on less rigorous methods should know that the United States will respond appropriately.”
The investigation of this case was led by Special Agents of the U.S. Forest Service.
Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a collaborative effort by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and communities to prevent and deter gun violence.