• Thieves hack down rare maple trees


    HARSTINE ISLAND, Wash. - Twenty-one full-grown maple trees have been hacked down on Harstine Island, outside Jarrell Cove State Park in Mason County.

    The maple trees, many of which were more than 100 years old, were tucked away among evergreen trees.

    Park rangers believe that the thieves were hacking away at the trees since the summer.

    They didn't discover the missing trees until a week ago because they're in a remote section of Harstine Island.

    Wood from the trees is rare and valuable. Rangers estimate wood from one tree is worth up to $5,000.

    Jim Clovis of Van Orman Guitars, in Elma, works with similar wood.

    "It's not everywhere," Clovis said of the unique wood, which is sculpted into one-of-a-kind guitars. "It's in special trees."

    Van Orman Guitars sells the guitars crafted out of the wood for up to $6,000 apiece.

    Clovis said he is on the lookout for the stolen wood, and rangers have stepped up patrols in the area.

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