Caldwell Parish man arrested for timber theft
For immediate release: February 27, 2023
Baton Rouge, La. – On February 17, 73-year-old James H. Rowland of Columbia, LA, was arrested following an investigation by the LDAF Forestry Enforcement Division.
Investigators revealed that during the months of December 2021 through January 2023, James H. Rowland was hired to harvest timber on an estimated 1300-acre tract in Caldwell Parish. Rowland allegedly withheld proceeds from timber harvested off the tract and failed to report and pay for the loads of timber, thus depriving the timber owners of their share of the proceeds from the timber sale. Rowland allegedly kept these proceeds. The timber was determined to have a delivered value of $283,996.88.
“Whether it involves theft or arson, LDAF’s Forestry Enforcement Division takes all forestry-related crimes seriously,” said LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M. “In addition to educating landowners on best practices associated with managing their timber, we’re committed to assisting with investigations that help victims recover any stolen profits.”
Anyone convicted of the theft of timber when the misappropriation or taking amounts to a value of $25,000 or more shall be fined not more than $10,000 and imprisoned at hard labor for not more than ten years.
Note: All persons accused of any crime are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
The public is urged to report any forestry-related crimes to the LDAF Office of Forestry at 225-925-4500 or LDAF’s 24-hour hotline at 1-855-452-5323.