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On January 6th, 2019 the United States Forest Service and the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Oregon State Police (not pictured), seized an unusually large quantity of salal from a commercial operation in the Siuslaw National Forest. The salal was harvested and stored in violation of the commercial permits issued by the United States Forest Service to regulate the commercial harvesting of the product. The seized salal has a wholesale value of approximately $4000.
Salal is a dark, leafy, evergreen plant indigenous to the coastal regions of the Pacific Northwest. Salal harvested in the forested lands of Lincoln County is shipped worldwide and is commonly used in floral arrangements.
Salal is a Special Forest Product under ORS 164.813, which regulates the cutting and transport of the product with and without a permit. The Unlawful Cutting and Transport of a Special Forest Product is a class B misdemeanor with a bail amount of $10,000. In cases like this where high value quantities of product are being unlawfully taken from the forested lands of Lincoln County, the offenders may also be charged with Theft I, a class C felony with a bail amount of $50,000.
Forested lands in Lincoln County, both public and private, are routinely patrolled by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, the Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division, and Federal Law Enforcement Officers from the United States Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office receives funds for enhanced patrol in our forested lands through the Forest Enforcement Program; a collaborative group made up of more than 17 community partners from both the private and public sectors. These patrols ensure the continued good health of our forested lands as well as their continued availability for public use.