• Tree Thieves

  • Crime and Survival in North America's Woods
  • By: Lyndsie Bourgon
  • Narrated by: Hayden Bishop
  • Length: 6 hrs and 5 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (20 ratings)

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Tree Thieves

By: Lyndsie Bourgon
Narrated by: Hayden Bishop
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Publisher's Summary

A 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 poaching cases, she introduces us to tree poachers, law enforcement, forensic wood specialists, the enigmatic residents of former logging communities, environmental activists, international timber cartels, and indigenous communities along the way.

Old-growth trees are invaluable and irreplaceable for both humans and wildlife, and are the oldest living things on earth. But the morality of tree poaching is not as simple as we might think: stealing trees is a form of deeply rooted protest, and a side effect of environmental preservation and protection that doesn't include communities that have been uprooted or marginalized when park boundaries are drawn. As Bourgon discovers, failing to include working class and rural communities in the preservation of these awe-inducing ecosystems can lead to catastrophic results.

Featuring excellent investigative reporting, fascinating characters, logging history, political analysis, and cutting-edge tree science, Tree Thieves takes listeners on a thrilling journey into the intrigue, crime, and incredible complexity sheltered under the forest canopy.

©2022 Lyndsie Bourgon (P)2022 Little, Brown & Company

Critic Reviews

"Bourgon vividly captures a hidden cat-and-mouse game playing out in some of the world's most iconic forests." (Sarah Berman, author of Don't Call It a Cult: The Shocking Story of Keith Raniere and the Women of NXIVM)

"Absorbing. Part social history, part true crime, Tree Thieves is a riveting tale of timber heists plaguing forests from the redwoods to the Amazon.” (Ash Davidson, author of Damnation Spring)

"Tree Thieves is both an absorbing true-crime story and a fascinating examination of the deep and troubled relationship between people and forests. From Sherwood Forest to the California redwoods to the Peruvian Amazon, Lyndsie Bourgon illuminates the violent conflicts over power, class, and identity that continue to shape and scar the forests we depend on." (Michelle Nijhuis, author of Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction)

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A way of life is gone

Enumerating the massive problem of tree thievery globally shocked me. I hoped for a solution and perhaps a reduction through some kind of a positive program. What was offered seemed ineffective or too small or indifferent, especially to the logging communities needs. So many kinds of wood needed for so many consumer goods With a special emphasis endangering our precious redwoods. Sad.