Forestry Department Warns Seniors of Timber Scam
RICHMONDâ€”The Virginia Department of Forestry has received reports of a man who, posing as a representative of that agency, has approached older landowners about buying the timber on their property.
“We have an individual who has been contacting landowners in Goochland and Fluvanna counties, telling them that â€˜Forestryâ€™ has asked him to contact them regarding selling their timber,” said VDOF Assistant Regional Forester Robbie Talbert.
While some landowners have contacted the forestry department about the individual, “itâ€™s quite possible that other landowners are being scammedâ€”an action that can cost them thousands of dollars,” Talbert said. “We want citizens to know that this individual does not work for the Virginia Department of Forestry, and that the VDOF does not purchase timber. â€¦ We urge landowners who may be contacted by someone claiming that â€˜Forestryâ€™ sent him to purchase their timber to contact their local sheriffâ€™s office and report the incident immediately.”
Chuck Wright, VDOF area forester for Goochland and Fluvanna, said most forest landowners harvest timber only once or twice during their lifetimes. “Itâ€™s extremely important to have a good plan for overall management of their timber resources, as well as a specific timetable when that timber is going to be harvested.”
Landowners also should keep in mind that timber markets tend to fluctuate, he said, and it is often best to solicit the services of a private consulting forester to handle a potential harvest. Upon request, the forestry department can provide landowners with a list of private forestry consultants who work in their areas.
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