Three men caught, charged after alleged illegal maple burls harvest in District of Kent

Agassiz RCMP aided in an investigation in which three men were reportedly caught illegally harvesting maple burls from trees. The unique grain of the wood formation makes it a tempting prospect for illegal harvest.(Contributed Photo/Ryan Kehler)
Agassiz RCMP aided in an investigation in which three men were reportedly caught illegally harvesting maple burls from trees. The unique grain of the wood formation makes it a tempting prospect for illegal harvest.(Contributed Photo/Ryan Kehler)Agassiz RCMP aided in an investigation in which three men were reportedly caught illegally harvesting maple burls from trees. The unique grain of the wood formation makes it a tempting prospect for illegal harvest.(Contributed Photo/Ryan Kehler) Agassiz RCMP aided in an investigation in which three men were reportedly caught illegally harvesting maple burls from trees. The unique grain of the wood formation makes it a tempting prospect for illegal harvest.(Contributed Photo/Ryan Kehler)
Agassiz RCMP aided in an investigation in which three men were reportedly caught illegally harvesting maple burls from trees. The unique grain of the wood formation makes it a tempting prospect for illegal harvest.(Contributed Photo/Ryan Kehler)Agassiz RCMP aided in an investigation in which three men were reportedly caught illegally harvesting maple burls from trees. The unique grain of the wood formation makes it a tempting prospect for illegal harvest.(Contributed Photo/Ryan Kehler)
Agassiz RCMP aided in an investigation in which three men were reportedly caught illegally harvesting maple burls from trees. The unique grain of the wood formation makes it a tempting prospect for illegal harvest.(Contributed Photo/Ryan Kehler)

Visitors to Green Point Park in the Harrison Hot Springs area may have noted some damaged trees recently.

The wounded trees are reportedly the result of a recent incident of illegal harvesting of maple burls.

According to Agassiz RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Mike Sargent, RCMP responded to a call on Jan. 30 of suspicious activity. Three men were found to have accessed Green Point Park by boat that afternoon, and shortly after, chainsaws could be heard operating in the area. Police located the men harvesting maple burls from the trees.

The three men were charged under the Forest and Range Practices Act; the Natural Resource Office was also involved in the investigation.

RELATED: PHOTOS: At least 17 trees found damaged in East Sector park

Burls are rounded growths in trees that are highly sought due to their unique grains.

A similar incident occurred at East Sector Lands Recreation Site in Harrison in Feb. 2020, in which portions of the bases of at least 17 trees were significantly damaged. East Sector is an ecologically sensitive area.

Sargent said illegal maple burl harvesting is a common issue in the Agassiz-Harrison area.

Suspicious activity should be reported to the Agassiz RCMP by calling 604-796-2211.

– With files from Patrick Penner


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adam.louis@ ahobserver.com

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