Idaho Residents Sentenced For Theft Of Wood From U.S. Forest Service
BOISE - Terry K. Burton, 46, and his son, Brent L. Burton, 23, both of Wilder, Idaho, were sentenced yesterday to three years of probation for stealing lodgepole pine posts and poles from the Malheur National Forest and selling the wood commercially in Idaho, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill also ordered the Burtons to pay $3,880 in restitution to the Malheur National Forest. Both defendants pled guilty to the misdemeanor charge of theft of government property on April 30, 2014.
The Burtons were also ordered to pay a fine of $5,000, which is suspended, so long as they are in compliance with special conditions of their probation. These conditions prohibit the defendants from using a personal use permit to cut, load, remove or haul timber or other forest product from any National Forest Service lands for the full three year term of their probation, and also require the Burtons to obtain appropriate commercial permits or enter into timber sales contracts with the Forest Service before cutting, loading, removing or hauling any timber or other forest product from any United States Forest Service lands.
According to the plea agreement, the Burtons created an illegal trail in the Malheur National Forest which they used to get into the forest for the purpose of illegally cutting lodgepole pine posts and poles without a proper permit. The Burtons then sold this timber commercially to Parma Post and Pole, in Parma, Idaho. While doing this, the Burtons caused approximately $1,380 in environmental damage to the National Forest, by leaving 425 visible stumps, extensive damage to small trees that had been run over and damaged, and ruts in the areas where they had illegally driven the ATV and trailer used to bring the lodgepole pine post and poles out of the forest.
The case was investigated by a U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer and Special Agent assigned to the Malheur National Forest.