Triplicate Staff

$500 reward for information

National parks officials are investigating the illegal chopping down of a 300-year-old redwood in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park last month.

Sometime during the night and early morning of March 16andndash;17, someone cut the old-growth tree down to get to a burl that was 50 feet off the ground, according to a press release from Redwood National and State Parks. Once the tree was down, the burl was cut off and hauled away.

Officials are offering a $500 reward for information that leads directly to the arrest of the offenders, according to the press release.

Of the roughly 2.5 million acres of old-growth redwood forest that existed in the last few centuries, only 4 percent remains, half of which is in Redwood National and State Parks, the release states.

Damaging and stealing any part of the park is a crime punishable by fine and incarceration, the release states.

Anyone having information about the crime is asked to call Ranger Danielle Westberg at 465-7345.