A fascinating and gripping account of the billion-dollar timber black market -- and how it intersects with environmentalism, class, and culture.
In Tree Thieves, Lyndsie Bourgon takes us deep into the underbelly of the illegal timber market. As she traces three timber theft cases, she introduces us to law enforcement, forensic wood specialists, the enigmatic residents of former logging communities, environmental activists, international timber cartels, and indigenous communities along the way.
The morality of tree poaching and of conservation are not as simple as they initially seem: yes, old growth trees are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all (human and wildlife alike), but the preservation and protection of land must be undertaken thoughtfully, so whole communities are not uprooted or marginalized while new boundaries are drawn. As Bourgon discovers, failing to do so can have catastrophic results.
Featuring excellent investigative reporting, fascinating characters, political analysis, and cutting-edge tree science, Tree Thieves takes readers on a thrilling journey into a hidden world of intrigue, crime, and incredible complexity lurking just beneath the surface.
About the Author
Lyndsie Bourgon is a writer, oral historian, and 2018 National Geographic Explorer based in British Columbia. She writes about the environment and its entanglement with history, culture, and identity. Her features have been published in The Atlantic, Smithsonian, the Guardian, the Oxford American, Aeon, The Walrus, and Hazlitt, among other outlets.