Energy

Vandals Break Into Timber Construction Site, Destroy $500,000 Piece Of Equipment

REUTERS/Chris Wattie

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Jason Hopkins Immigration and politics reporter

A logging company in Montana fell victim to late-night vandals who sabotaged a half-a-million dollar tree-cutter, delaying work and causing further monetary loss.

“We came back on Tuesday and somebody had got into our feller buncher, which is about a half-a-million dollar piece of machinery, broke into it and cut all the wires and the harness,” explained Ed Regan in an interview with KBUL News Talk, a local media outlet. “They knew what they were doing because we were not able to put it back together in the field without having to call a specialized mechanic.”

Regan works as the resource manager for RY Timber, a Montana-based logging company. RY Timber was to begin operations in an area near the town of West Yellowstone, but after one day of work, a court injunction forced them to cease operations. Before the company was able to move out, their feller buncher — an expensive harvester used for cutting trees — was sabotaged overnight by unknown vandals.

Not only did the $500,000 feller buncher require repair, but the vandalism resulted in about a $10,000 loss for the logger who lost an opportunity for work.

“It’s unfortunate that people are doing this. We haven’t seen it happen for several years. If anybody out in the public would know or had see anything, we sure would like them to contact the sheriff down in West Yellowstone,” Regan added.

Vandalism against logging companies throughout the U.S. is nothing new. Typically done in the name of environmentalism, activists have trespassed onto construction sites and enacted thousands of dollars worth of damage. In extreme cases, environmental activists have resorted to tree-spiking, which involves hammering a nail into a tree and risking damage to equipment and harm to loggers. The tactic was popular among eco-terrorists in the 1990s. (RELATED: Eco-Terrorists May Have Spiked Logs To Cripple Lumber Mills)

Another issue facing logging companies is litigation brought on by environmentalists who wish to stall or cancel foresting operations. In Montana alone, there are 21 court injunctions against forest restoration projects, including RY Timber’s project in West Yellowstone.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out for comment from the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office and RY Timber, but neither responded in time for publication.

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