Texas men accused of timber theft

Two Texas men are accused of cutting a 10-acre stand of timber without the landowner's permission and have been charged with its theft. Joe Henderson, 63, of Bivins, Texas, and Kenneth Hodge, 58, of South Bivins, Texas, were arrested Aug. 15 on one count each of timber theft more than $25,000, according to the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry. Investigators allege the men cut the timber during a demolition of structures Henderson was hired to do for the landowner, who lives in Beaumont, Texas. According to LDAF investigators, the timber harvested without the landowner's permission was valued at $29,394 and was sold in Texas. "It is so important for landowners who lives out of

Merryville man accused of woods arson

A Merryville man is accused of setting fire to a wooded area of Beauregard Parish in July, according to the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry. Gerald W. Neely, 47, was arrested for simple arson four days after LDAF criminal investigators received about a complaint about several woods fires near Division Street in Merryville, according to an LDAF press release. “We aggressively pursue arson cases. Not only is arson a threat to property, but it can also endanger lives,” said Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain. Neely was booked into the Beauregard Parish Detention Center on July 17 and released on $5,000 bond Aug. 5.

Oakdale campus seeking forestry instructor

The Southwest Louisiana Technical and Community College at Oakdale is seeking a new forestry instructor. Dr. Shannon Kidombo recently took another job, leaving the position open. Click the link below to find out more about the position. SOWELA Forestry Instructor sought.

Wildfires down 60 percent in La.

Fighting fire with fire and other public awareness programs by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry are reasons for an almost 60 percent drop in wildfires in the state over the past 10 years, according to the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry. LDAF reported this week that its firefighters fought 1,638 wildfires in 2008. Last year, LDAF firefighters handled 676 wildfires in Louisiana, according to a recent press release. Weather and forest conditions vary, LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain said, but public awareness is an important factor. Outreach programs include information on responsible debris burning and prescribed burning for forest landowners. The prescribed

SFPA sawmill safety awards given

Seven Southern Pine sawmills that are members of the Southern Forest Products Association (SFPA), including three from Louisiana, were recently awarded recognition for Sawmill Safety for 2018, according to the SFPA. SFPA lumber manufacturer members are considered for the award based on information submitted regarding occupational injuries and illnesses. Safety performance is judged by how each mill’s safety record stacks up against facilities with comparable lumber output throughout the year. The results for 2018 included reports from 54 mills that recorded nearly 20 million employee hours and aligned into three divisions. Division I includes sawmills that produce 50 million board feet or le

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