MADISON (AP) – A sheriff says people have been illegally cutting down walnut trees in southern Wisconsin to sell the valuable wood.
Rock County Sheriff Robert Spoden says landowners have confronted loggers who cut down as many as 20 trees on private property without asking permission.
Brian Knudson tells Wisconsin State Journal that loggers cut down 12 to 20 trees on land owned by him and a neighbor. He says the loggers offered him $1,000 per tree to keep quiet and not report the activity to law enforcement.
Brian Brookshire is executive director of the American Walnut Manufacturers Association. He says walnut wood is commanding a near-record price right now.
A 16-foot log that’s 26 inches in diameter can bring in $3,000.