If ever an act of vandalism deserved to be titled as senseless it would be last month's damaging of more than 500 red pine trees near Backus.
The latest development in the case saw a 51-year-old Backus man charged with one count of first-degree criminal damage to property for allegedly driving six-inch pole barn nails into the trees, which were scheduled to be sold at a public timber auction. The Cass County Sheriff's Department stated more "people of interest" are being investigated and additional charges may result.
At the time of the incident the Cass County land commissioner said the tree plantation would have been managed for another 70 to 80 years through a series of thinning, resulting in older, high quality red pine. Now that the trees have been damaged and there's potential for danger from the nails for the people conducting the harvest the land will be clear cut and replanted.
It's unclear precisely what inspired the person who committed this crime to damage the trees. If it was a desire to spare trees from a woodsman's ax the act was terribly misguided in addition to being extremely dangerous to those who may have harvested the trees.
Far too often, people simply don't think about the consequences of their actions.
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