Woman claims 100-plus trees stolen from Schuyler Co. farm - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Woman claims 100-plus trees stolen from Schuyler Co. farm


Thousands of dollars worth of trees are gone from a local woman's property, but she says no one's being held responsible for stealing them.    

Gary Williams, owner of Brushy Ridge ATV park in Browning, Illinois, said he discovered over 120 missing trees when looking to expand trails for his business.

"This would of been an ideal spot to expand the park for motorcycles, but it ain't now because the trees are gone," Williams said.

His mother, Marilyn Blickenstaff has owned the more than 300 acre property for over 40 years. She says loggers wrongfully took between an estimated $30,000 to $60,000 worth of trees.

"There were a bunch of white oaks that were cut," Blickenstaff said. "There were some walnut logs that were cut. It will take another 100 years to get my property back to where it was before."

Just last week, a letter from Schuyler County State's Attorney Ramon Escapa stated his office would not file charges against owner of logging company. The law says it's illegal for a timber buyer to knowingly and willfully cut timber without the owner's consent. But, the letter from the State's Attorney said there's no evidence that the logger knew he was cutting trees on the wrong property.

"I'm kind of confused on the no laws were broke issue," Williams said. "120 trees were taken. Somebody's got to be held accountable for it."

Schuyler County Sheriff Bill Redshaw says cases like these aren't uncommon, but it's important to notify police right away.

"An officer would go out and usually make a report," Redshaw said. "Then all of this if it has to do with the agriculture part of it and cutting of the trees illegally, all is under the department of natural resources. They would send contact to the conservation officer and the conservation officer would handle that themselves."

But for Blickenstaff, the law isn't protecting her.

"I feel like I was a victim and nothing is being done to help me," Blickenstaff said. "It's not right."

In the letter from the State's Attorney, Blickenstaff can still pursue the matter in civil court. She says that may be an option but they are unsure what they will do from here.

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