- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 15, 2015

BEND, Ore. (AP) - Federal officials say whoever cut down and hauled off an old-growth juniper tree at a popular trailhead east of Bend may have committed a federal crime.

The Bulletin reports (https://is.gd/e5Bf0l ) that the tree went missing from the Badlands Wilderness earlier this month. Bureau of Land Management officials could not find any leads as to who took the tree.

The BLM considers junipers to be old-growth if they are more than 150 years old.

Logging or cutting down trees is illegal in wilderness areas, wilderness study areas or at trailheads. Before the U.S. Congress designated the Badlands in 2009 as wilderness, it was a wilderness study area.

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Information from: The Bulletin, https://www.bendbulletin.com

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