By PAULINA AGUILAR
GRESHAM, Oregon (KPTV) — Gresham Police and the Parks & Recreations are asking the public for help to find the ‘Gresham Lumberjack’ that is cutting down hundreds of trees. It’s happening in about 1.7 miles along Springwater Trail, particularly around the 7th St. bridge.
“What’s frustrating about this is when you understand the amount of time and resources over decades that city staff and volunteers and our taxpayers put into this area to make it nice,” says Joe Walsh, Gresham P&R Manager.
The city marks the trees to keep track of which trees have been partially cut. Ecologist, Mike Wallace, says whoever is doing this, is using a hand saw or a bow saw.
“We found a lot of blades that have been pinched in the actual wood itself and saw the individual just has more blades on hand so they just keep cutting,” says Wallace. “A lot of times a bow saw can get through this in about 5-10 minutes. It’s pretty quick, these are sharp blades. This is somebody that comes in quick but the individuals also spending hours in the field cutting these trees.”
It will cost over $200,000 of damages to restore the damaged areas. If the ‘Gresham Lumberjack’ is caught, P&R say they can face up to $500 per tree and possibly jail time.
A neighbor says he’s been keeping an eye on the area. He says it’s taking away all the work the city and volunteers put into planting these trees.
“I think it’s horrible. People are cutting down live healthy trees and we’re trying to plant trees down here to stop erosion and unfortunately somebody’s just doing it for the fun of it it’s terrible,” says David Afdahl.
The city says they will assess the trees and decide which ones will be removed for hazards reasons and which will stay. Some of the fallen trees can become habitat for wildlife.
Gresham Police say if you see anything, to call non-emergency police line.
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